The most noble of products needs time. Innovative textile made from natural cork for endless applications
We are constantly exploring new designs which enable us to change and further extend our range of products in order to share with you this extremely versatile and unique material. The appeal of cork for our products is the union of aesthetics and performance. The fabric is tough and resistant, yet delicate to the touch and comfortable to wear. While this is largely because of the innate qualities of purified cork, it is also the fruit of ongoing research.
Cork skin is a raw material handmade by experienced craftsmen which needs several years to acquire its noble quality.
Reinventing sustainability for the future…
Cork skin is very soft, sophisticated and noble material with a unique look. It’s sustainable, recyclable, waterproof and easy to clean.
Cork fabric, or cork leather as it is sometimes called, is a high quality fabric produced from thin cork shavings obtained directly from the bark of the cork oak tree. Much of the production is handcrafted.
Cork fabric is available in a unique assortment of natural textures, patterns, and designs and is produced with different backing materials dependent on final use.
Production of “leather” cork shoes
Our specially developed, proprietary production process allows us to create perfectly crafted bags and shoes, accessories and clothing using the beauty and resilience of cork, where unsurpassed quality exists in every dimension.
After 25 years of growing, we extract the first layer of cork, known as “virgin cork”. This is used to make granulated materials which are used for acoustic and thermal insulation.
Nine years after the first extraction of the virgin cork, we extract the second layer. Every further extraction requires a nine-year wait.
The cork extraction takes place in June and July of each year and is performed by experienced workers—It´s a very delicate task.
The first step to make “leather” cork involves removing the external, darker layers of the cork. At this point, the cork appearance is cleaner and protrudes its natural color. After the extraction the raw cork needs to be boiled in order to become manageable.
This operation has two functions:
- It makes the cork cleaner, without impurities.
- It makes the cork softer and elastic.
After the boiling and drying, the cork is processed into “leather” cork and can be used for the same applications of leather or textiles. It is also possible to back the cork with others types of support, such as organic cotton fabric.
We work the material in a wide range of natural textures, colors and prints.
The majority of the raw and auxiliary materials used in the production of our cork fabrics is of natural and virgin origin. Additionally, synthetic materials are used to achieve certain product characteristics. For the production of cork fabric, no heavy metals or their compounds, organic solvents, mineral fibers or formaldehyde are used.
Najha cork fabrics are free from substances that could cause harm to the environment or health.
Unlimited Creative Techniques
Cork fabric is available in a unique assortment of natural textures, patterns, and designs and is produced with different backing materials dependent on final use (Embossed, laser print, perforated, quilted, embroidered, double face and more).
Najha design handbags, shoes and accessories with handmade embroidery inspired by traditional Portuguese Art and Contemporary design trends. Our collection is therefore a perfect embodiment of unique designs and styles of hand-embroidery, hand-beaded embroidery, thread-work embroidery, etc. Its most striking feature is its expression of refinement, finesse & elegance with a cause: to revive the traditional arts and crafts of Portugal.
The detail and intricacy involved in each ensemble takes countless hours and concentration. But the rewards and uniqueness of the finished piece are so much more than our words can express
Think basketry when thinking of handcrafted bags. Patterns are created through a simple hand weaving technique, varying the tightness and width of the cork-strips. Najha designs offer a sophisticated palette of colour, texture, pattern and scale for a truly unique fashion look. A wide variety of patterns can be made by changing the size, colour, or by placement of a certain style of weave. Weaving techniques include virtually every possible way to attach one piece of material to another without using stitching, glue, or pins. Four basic weaving techniques are used in bag construction: weaving, plaiting, twining, and coiling. Each technique brings subtlety, colour, and form to the design.
Embossed cork is a classic of our company. A raised embossed effect is obtained by means of a machine. A raised embossed cork leather tool makes an indent all the way around the design, leaving the cork leather looking raised up.
Handmade finishing, metallization, and special color-dye techniques give the cork a unique and exclusive design.
At Najha, we embellish our garments with various traditional printing techniques in natural colors along with discovering our own unconventional ways. New printing techniques on cork: Sublimation, Transfer and Digital Printing; these cork fabrics are free from substances which could cause harm to the environment or health.
Sustainable fashion is central to Najha’s philosophy because the methods used to produce these materials have a much lower impact on the environment.
Organic Cotton Sateen
This fabric is luxuriously soft and has a subtle sheen. The preamble of organic farming has been aimed at conservation and optimized utilization of all natural resources.
Users of organic cotton are very few and farmers have to bear the brunt of this. Direct purchase by Najha will encourage farmers to cultivate organic cotton and also provide them a livelihood they deserve.
Organic cotton is grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals unlike conventional cotton, which is one of the most chemically dependent crops. Thus, the quantity produced is shorter in comparison with conventional cotton and, therefore, in using organic cotton, we are also contributing positively to the quality of the farmer’s life.
Vegetable Silk (also known as Sabra, Cactus or Agave Silk)
Cactus silk or Sabra silk is a luxurious fabric made from the Agave Cactus in Fes, Morocco. The fabric is a 100% vegetable silk blend of extracted filaments from aloe cactus grown in Morocco. It has been sought for its quality, strength and beauty for millennia. The process to produce sabra silk has not changed for centuries. Once the cactus is collected from the long agave plants, the long spiky leaves are crushed and the fibres washed and hammered, then the leaves are soaked in water to separate the fibres & filaments. These are spun and woven to make “silk thread” which is then dyed in different colours. The textile produced has a high elasticity and this makes Sabra-Silk free of wrinkles. Sabra Silk is hand-loomed in Morocco; this long and time-consuming process makes some of its products (clothing, shoes, and textile) very expensive and unique.