If you’ve been wondering what on earth Cork Vinyl is and what it could be used for, then read on! We asked one of our lovely customers, Julie, to road-test (or should that be sew-test?) this unusual fabric. Here’s what she thought:

I have been sewing for a couple of years now and first discovered cork early 2018, I now work with cork daily and have a great love for this fabric.

First a little information on cork for any newbies to the fabric:
Cork can also be known as ‘vegan leather’ because it is seen as the animal friendly alternative to leather produced from thin cork shavings obtained directly from the bark of the cork oak tree.

Cork fabric is:
-soft to touch
-easily cleaned and long lasting
-durable as leather, versatile as fabric
-hypoallergenic, waterproof and stain resistant
-dust, dirt and grease repellent
-environmentally and ecologically friendly

And if that’s not enough it is also a dream to work with and makes some beautiful projects.

I have been nagging Brian and Julie to stock a range of cork fabrics in 1st for Fabrics for a little while now and was so pleased when they asked me to test out their first batch.

I decided to make a simple zipper pouch with some added embroidery

It cut’s so easily, I used my rotary cutter but scissors would work just as good.


To embroider I used ‘Schmitz’ gold stick 75/11 needle as these are the only embroidery needles I have and a tear away stabiliser on the back, the design stitched out with no problems and shows up lovely on the cork.

I wanted the pouch to have some firmness and hold it’s shape so I added some headliner which 1st for Fabrics also stock.

I just used a long basting stitch to attach the headliner to the cork.

I didn’t add any iron on interfacing as didn’t think it necessary when using headliner but I did do a little test with the iron which worked just fine on a medium heat, place a piece of cotton between the iron and the cork with no steam, make sure the keep the iron moving on the fabric.

When sewing up the pouch I used a singer 90/14 needle to ensure it managed the headliner, if your not using headliner you could use a smaller needle with this cork.

TOP TIP always use wonder clips when working with cork, pins will leave holes behind in the fabric when removed.

I really enjoyed making this embroidered cork pouch which is now on display in the shop and I’m hoping to make a full cork bag next using 1st for fabrics cork, if you’ve never worked with cork before you should definitely give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Julie, Handmade by JAV creations x.

Thanks so much Julie!

I am happy to report that Julie did also make us the most magnificent bag to display in the shop:

If you’d like to see more of Julie’s brilliant creations (and perhaps purchase for yourself of a loved one) the you can see her Facebook page HERE.

And if you’re inspired, and fancy sewing up your own cork creation using some of Julie’s tips, then you can find our current range HERE.

We’ll be back soon for part TEN of Fabric 101, featuring the lovely Terri and her magnificent coat.