Cork is buoyant, elastic, renewable and—according to a Portuguese champagne cork maker—fashionable.

When I received the pitch to cover handbags made from cork, I was curious. How do you sew cork? Fortunately the company, São Brás de Alportel–based Pelcor, answered that question with this nifty video on the company’s website.

Pelcor boils and flattens cork planks into cork skin, which flexible enough to sew. The more-than-30-year-old company started manufacturing fashion accessories in 2003 when Sandra Correia, granddaughter of the company’s founder, “challenged her father with the idea of making cork more ‘feminine,’” according to the company’s website.

The first product in the accessories line was a cork umbrella,which earned raves—and this adorable photo—from a blogger at MNN (although she did test it in Arizona, not exactly monsoon country).

Photo by Melissa Hincha-Ownby from
Photo by Melissa Hincha-Ownby from

These days, the company has expanded its cork accessories collection to include handbags, iPod cases, wallets, belts bracelets and hats.

Published Jan. 8, 2014 at