I'm absolutely mad for cork. Whenever I see a piece of industrial or fashion design made from the stuff, I swoon.
Turns out a woman in the cork oak-growing region of Gallura in Italy is similary smitten for the stuff. Anna Grindi has spent the better part of the last two decades developing techniques to transform cork into a nonwoven fabric for use in clothes—including her daughter's beautiful wedding gown—and upholstery.
"Cork is an amazing natural material, impermeable to liquids and gas, and with great thermal qualities,” Ms. Grindi told reporter Kate Singleton, in a feature that ran this week in The New York Times.
With patents in hand and ongoing research with universities in Sardinia and Milan, Ms. Grindi has brought to market exquisite results with the likes of the house of Ferragamo lining up for yardage, which can run into the hundreds of euros for a single yard.
Salvatore Ferragamo, of course, was a pioneer in using cork for platform heels when war-time resources for other materials became spare. His iconic gold kidskin sandal with rainbow-colored suede-covered cork heel and wedge looks every bit as modern now though it was created in 1938 for Judy Garland.
In recent years, the fashion world has flirted with cork in everything from tote bags to these cork limbs (pictured below) by Jan Taminiau. They are absolutely crazy beautiful and underscore that old chestnut that pain is beauty.
My daily cork fix comes from the small wallet made from cork and lined with recycled billboard that is with me everywhere I go. It's one of a trio of sizes designed as part of the award-winning Design with Conscience program by Artecnica, the Los Angeles-based studio. The medium-sized envelope makes a great clutch. While the largest fits iPads (something Andy discovered last year and quickly tipped our pals at Artecnica).
Aurélien Barbry's Cork Stoppers for Normann-Copenhagen are also a fun spin on the cork seals for wine bottles. Of course, these can be used for any bottle containing juice, water or spirit. As I indicated on our site, they make a terrific gift for the casual or dedicated oenophile.
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