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Material Focus: Cork

July 17, 2015 2 min read

When you think of cork, what comes to mind?

1970s cork place mats?  A nice bottle of Champagne being opened?  The type of 'Australian' hat only ever acceptable at a fancy dress party?  Whatever it is, it probably isn't stylish, well-designed accessories & homeware.  

At THABTO we like to celebrate simple, humble materials, and cork is just that.  Not only does it look great, cork is sustainable and extremely versatile and can be found in all sorts of products from trainers to furniture, so we've put together a list of some of our top cork products.

Cork Furniture and accessories by Ilse Crawford

British designer Ilse Crawford has teamed up with Ikea to produce the Sinnerlig collection which includes a cork fruit bowl and this beautiful table and bench, due to launch August 2015. 

Sinnerlig Cork Table and Bench by Ikea and Isle Crawford

(Image courtesy of Remodelista) 

Cork Pinboards

The creative's staple item. The cork pinboard is certainly not a new idea, but it's a must-have, amazing for pinning notes and arranging ideas, so you're sure to find one in every design studio. 

Cork Pinboard with wooden frame

 (Images courtesy of The Design Files)

Sprout the Cork Watch

Sprout is a watch with a cork strap by Nordstrom. This is a great on-trend Summer accessory. We love the green stitching!

Cork watch. Cork strap with turquoise face

(Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters) 

Cork Home Accessories
Cork's neutral shades are matched perfectly with natural woods and monochrome materials - The Vessel by Vitamin Living can be used as a vase, but it's design is so beautiful it could just sit in your home as a stand-alone ornament. 

White porcelain and cork vase

(Image courtesy of Vitamin Living) 

Cork Notebooks

This range of cork-backed notebooks is so different from the norm that you will never confuse your notepad with someone else's again.  We especially love the cork pattern on the yellow grid book. Look at the image for a few seconds and let your eyes be confused.

Collection of cork note books in yellow and colour patterns over the cork

(Image courtesy of The Bread and Butter Letter)  

Cork Shoes (okay, trainers)

So the obvious choice here would be to list cork wedges, with the 1970's revival being a huge 2015 trend, but we saw these and really enjoyed the reversal of materials. Vans have mixed it up and used the cork as the main fabric, rather than using it in the sole, resulting in an awesome looking trainer. We love it!

Vans have made an awesome feature of the great texture and pattern found in this wonderful material! 

Vans trainers made from cork.

(Image courtesy of Prodirectselect)  

Cork Clock by Ilias Ernst

This beautiful round mantel clock by Ilias Ernst for Puik Art, Amsterdam, has an extended right angle allowing the clock to stand on any flat surface.

Cork Clock design


Cork Handbag by Stella McCartney

We love the random colour fleck in this cork, making each bag unique.

Cork handbag design with colour fleck by Stella McCartney


Luno storage jars with cork lids

Czech designer Martin Jakobsen has created these beautiful storage jars with spherical cork ball lids

Luna Cork storage Jars design by Martin Jakobsen


Other cork designs we love:


Cork stool with storage and cork watchCork packaging for pens and pencilsCork pinboard moulded frame design



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