Cork Fabric

@bmcgrain asked me to move discussion about cork fabric here…so, here it is.

Here is the supply list I used to for a cork fabric wallet project:

  • Glowforge Design Catalog: 6-Pocket Bifold Executive Wallet
  • Stitching needles (sorry, the size is not on the packaging)
  • Wax thread: size138, fine
  • Cork fabric
  • Stitching pony
  • Masking layer (to protect the fabric)


  • I simply used the same settings as for Proofgrade medium leather. I did cover the cork fabric with a layer of masking (which was key).


  • I followed the directions provided by Glowforge (which were very easy to follow)

Now, I just need to practice my saddle stitching.


I just did a bit more research on the cork fabric from

Their products are also available through

The cork fabric comes in a variety of colors.
43 AM

The fabric is made of 50% polyurethane, 35% cotton, and 15% polyester. I did a quick web search on polyurethane and polyester and read that both are laser safe. (Might anyone have contradictory information?) suggests cleaning the material with a damp cloth and gentle cleanser. I marked up a piece of the fabric with pencil then washed it with a sponge and hand soap. It cleaned up nicely.

Also, (as I mentioned to @bmcgrain in the original post) I mistreated samples of the fabric. Here is what I found.

Glowforge test

  • using settings for Medium Proofgrade Leather, it did not catch on fire, and I did not see any flareups
  • I am using a Pre-Release Unit, and think folks should test the fabric with lower settings in a Production Unit

Lighter test

  • cork starts on fire before fabric
  • fabric did not melt
  • no strong chemical smell detected

Water test

  • it floats (small scraps)
  • after about 60 minutes soaking (submerged in water), I cannot peel the cork layer off the fabric

Tear test

  • I can tear very thin pieces of the fabric by hand
  • I cannot tear thick pieces by hand
  • I scratched a piece of fabric up with a mechanical pencil, it pulled up little bits in a few areas, but I could rub them down with my thumb and they disappeared
  • I can poke through the material easily with a needle or pencil tip, but the cork (I guess due to elasticity) seemed to meld back together (I cannot see the holes)

If anyone else tries cork fabric, it would be great if you could share what you learned.

I hope this information is helpful. Thanks!!


Polyurethane has some mixed info. Basically all plant and animal based stuff produces some cyanide when you burn it, but polyurethane produces it in much more copious quantities due to the availability of elements in the right proportion.

It is apparently is fairly reactive so won’t stay cyanide for very long once dissipated into the environment. If I understood it correctly. Maybe the amount you vaporizes to cut isn’t that much?

Also apparently it can get messy, melty and sticky in your machine.

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I didn’t notice anything melty in the machine. And, when I tried to light the fabric on fire with a lighter, it didn’t melt. Maybe the percentages of cotton, polyurethane, and polyester deaden the negatives of laser cutting 100% polyurethane?

I’ll definitely do more research into this.

I don’t usually respond to posts and I’m quite happy to lurk (for years it seems), but I thought I would mention that your links to Thackery are incorrect. points to a SmartName advertisement domain that gets rewarded for people clicking on search links. The domain I believe you intended to link is and for convenience here is the direct link for cork fabric specifically:

Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful material.


Thank you!! I just corrected my error. I really appreciate you pointing it out to me.

Note to self: Don’t trust the auto-populated addresses provided in Discourse. :upside_down_face:

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Some links that might be useful:

I think you’ll want to be careful with the fire tests with polyurethane. Exposure to hydrogen cyanide in a concentration of 2000 ppm is death in 60 seconds according to Wikipedia:

And keep in mind, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I just found links on the internet.


Pretty sure that makes you an expert. You actually looked things up vs making them up :grinning::stuck_out_tongue: That’s how the internet works.