How Durable is Cork Fabric? Why Cork is the Best Leather Alternative. - Corkor

How Durable is Cork Fabric?

April 13, 2017 0 Comments

Cork Fabric: Close-up detail

So, you’ve just purchased—or are thinking about purchasing—your first cork bag or accessory. Congratulations, cork is one of the best vegan and eco-friendly fabrics out there. Plus it has a unique look that just screams quality. But still, there’s this nagging question in the back of your mind…“Is it going to last?”

You’re probably a bit skeptic, we understand. Bags and wallets made of cork? How does that work? Well, it works beautifully, really. But don’t just take our word for it. Browsing through our product pages you will find hundreds of customers happily praising the vegan-ness, quality, softness and beauty of cork.

Maybe all you can think of is a cork bulletin board falling apart, but there is actually no similarity between the cork shavings used to make such items, and cork fabric which is the perfect alternative to animal leather.

Cork Fabric 101: How It’s Made

Colored cork fabric
Rolls of cork fabric ready to be transformed into beautiful wallets and handbags.

After being harvested, the cork is left to air dry for six months. Then it’s boiled and steamed to get even more elasticity. Heat and pressure are applied to cork to press it into blocks, which are later sliced in thin sheets that can be transformed in a multitude of wonderful cork leather accessories. Unlike the heavy chemical processing of leather, cork leather production is chemical-free. (Yay!)

Despite your nightmarish visions, cork fabric won’t crack or crumble. In fact, due to its very simple and natural processing, cork fabric retains all the qualities that “raw” cork is known for:

  • Extremely Light

This is one of the biggest advantages of cork and of our products, as no one wants to carry a laptop bag that weighs more than the laptop itself. With over 50% of its volume being air, no wonder cork is so light!

  • Water Resistant

Cork bags, handbags, and sleeves are perfect to keep your favorite devices safe and sound - even in the most adverse weather conditions. Water resistance is cork’s best-kept secret: cork ages without deteriorating mainly due to its resistance to moisture. The suberin covering (a waterproofing waxy substance) present in the cell walls make cork virtually impermeable to liquids and gases.

  • Wear and Tear Resistant

Cork wallets are very sturdy and will last you a lifetime, even if you carry them daily in your jeans’ pocket; other cork accessories are just as resistant. Thanks to its honeycomb structure, cork is highly abrasion resistant and has a high friction coefficient. That’s why cork is a go-to material even for NASA

  • Slow Burning

We surely hope you won’t ever need to test this, but hey… you never know! The slow combustion of cork makes it a natural fire retardant and a kind of barrier against fire.

  • Soft and Unique

The softness of cork fabric is one of the characteristics our clients love the most. Also, each product is as unique as a fingerprint, as there are no two equal pieces of cork.

Cork fabric and finishing touches
Details matter: close-up of dark brown cork fabric.

Let’s Talk Quality

If your priority is quality, and you’re wondering how cork fabric products will age and behave through the years, know this: the quality and suppleness of cork fabric products can only be compared to that of leather goods.

But, unlike leather, cork fabric is 100% natural and vegan, water repellent, stain resistant and scratch-proof. Another advantage of cork fabric over leather is that it’s very low-maintenance. To keep your vegan cork accessories in good shape, all you need to do is clean them with water and soap. That’s it! You’re good to go. 

Alas, your new cork accessories will age - like every last thing under the sun. But they will do so in a nicely kept manner, lasting you for years to come, with added character.

Cork Quality and Durability: What Our Customers Had to Say

Vegan Passcase Wallet | LOVE IT!
Received this wonderful wallet as a gift almost three years ago and am happy to say it's still going strong. Sure it shows some wear but is definitely more worn in than worn out. I find the removable passcase ideal for my public transport card where the wallet can remain in my pocket and I enjoy the glimpse of a treasured photo in the window display with each use. I must admit I have recently begun alternating with some other wallets, though thanks to the wonderful quality I haven't strayed far and now have a Corkor Passport Wallet for travel and a Corkor RFID Blocking Cork Wallet as a compact option. The team at Corkor are excellent and can't fault, thank you!
Col from Australia

Suprised about the strength of the material. Also, the shipping was very quick and sent with a lovely personal note from the Corkor team!
Marcus S. from Germany

Vegan Passcase Wallet | EXCELLENT CHOICE!
I bought this wallet for my boyfriend. We are both vegan and don't believe in using leather products, but didn't know what a good substitute would be. I was worried that cork may not be as durable, but it's seriously amazing. I would recommend it to anyone!
Justine B. from the United States

Vegan Wallet for Men | SUPERB WALLET!
Had the wallet for a few weeks, and I love it! A great cruelty-free alternative while still looking quite fashionable. Held up great so far, and super easy to clean!
Matthew P. from the United States

Vegan Messenger Bag | BEAUTIFUL BAG!
I bought this bag back during Black Friday weekend, there was a nice sale for roughly 15% off. I was sold by the beautiful look of the bag but admittedly was skeptical of the texture and feel of the bag since it was an online purchase (obviously). As a vegan, finding such a beautiful bag that is cruelty-free was a rare find for me :) The bag arrived promptly and felt much softer than I imagined cork would feel. The interior is a beautiful tan and the bag feels very durable. I took it with me during rainy days and surprisingly it is incredibly water resistant. I mean I believed the advertisement when it said it was water resistant (duh...cork) but really you can drench water on this bag and it feels dry soon after. Love this bag and I look forward to buying more corkor products :)
Jesus A. from the United States

Vegan Messenger Bag | GREAT MATERIALS 
I love the bag. It's beautiful and the cork is very durable. It feels good on my body. The bag is very narrow, however, and it's difficult to close when I have my older MacBook Pro, charger, and only a few file folders. When I upgrade to a thinner laptop I may have less of a problem with this, but even another half inch would make the bag much more useful.
Andrew M. from the United States Vegan Briefcase Bag

Vegan Briefcase Bag | CORKOR BRIEFCASE
Durable, lightweight & great design!
Eric W. from the United States

I love the wallet, it is very sturdy and fits everything I need. It has gotten wet a few times but is still in perfect condition.
Sara from Reykjavík, Iceland

Vegan Briefcase Bag | TOP NOTCH
I purchased this bag for my brother and it was by far his best present this Christmas. He is vegan so the cork material is perfect as he got rid of his leather bag. The bag arrived looking exactly as pictured, if not better. The material is extremely high quality and the bag is very well made. The bag is very unique yet professional. Will definitely buy here again. Sarah from the United States Vegan SatchelBEAUTIFULThe bag is in perfect size and looks beautiful. The cork is soft but hard-wearing as well. It looks exactly like in the video. I'm sure I'll buy another one soon. Shipping to Germany took about one week.
Vanessa from Germany

Minimalist Vegan Wallet | LOVE
I absolutely love the texture of the cork :)
Linda Rohr Pedersen from Denmark

Vegan Passcase Wallet | THIS WALLET IS AWESOME!
I've had it for about a month, and it's been great, even if empty most of the time :) Totally worth the money, though, if you want a beauty, durability, and environmental smugness in your pocket. Thanks, folks at Corkor!
Joel van Allen from the United States

Discover the Women's Cork Collection
Shop Women's Wallets »
Shop Women's Handbags »

Discover the Men's Cork Collection
Shop Men's Wallets »
Shop Men's Bags »

What about you? Do you own cork products? Are you thinking of buying any? Share your thoughts, experiences or hesitations about cork products in the comments!


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