We have seen it used in footwear and hiking poles, now cork may soon be popping up in your outdoor apparel. Schoeller Textiles has combined the natural properties of cork with those of high performance fabrics to create a comfortable, highly breathable fabric with superior thermal insulating properties for use in everything from base layers to softshell jackets.
Schoeller corkshell is highly breathable and offers up to 30% higher thermal insulation when compared to traditional softshells. Corkshell fabrics are soft, very lightweight, and offer natural antimicrobial properties with extreme next to skin comfort.
Schoeller corkshell is made from a cork granulate that is a by-product in the production of wine corks. This natural granulate is pulverized and combined with the fabric in a patented process from the company.
Cork is a sustainable and natural raw material that comes from the bark of the Cork Oak tree. The harvesting of the cork does not harm the tree. One Cork Oak can live up to 200 years and can be harvested around 16 times during its lifetime.
The constantly regenerating cork bark has a bubble-like structure that provides great thermal insulation. Over 40 million cells per cubic centimeter are filled with an air-like gas, rendering the cork extremely lightweight, durable, and stretchy. Cork also has natural antimicrobial properties, making it a great choice for apparel.
Schoeller will offer two corkshell fabric options to start. The single layer fabric construction, perfect for base layer pieces, features a cork coating on the inside of the performance fabric. The 3-layer construction sandwiches the cork between a stretchy outer wind and water proof layer and a highly breathable, moisture wicking inner lining. The 3-layer fabric can be used in the construction of softshell jackets for the outdoor industry.
Will we begin to see more and more cork in our outdoor gear or will it become a novelty a bit like bamboo?