Your hat won’t smell like merlot. But a new fabric from Schoeller Textile used in a hat from Toronto-based Tilley Endurables employs cork that could otherwise cap off a bottle of wine.
The fabric is called Corkshell. It’s made from a granulate byproduct that comes from the manufacturing of wine corks.
Schoeller touts the Corkshell material has “50% higher thermal insulation” than similar fabrics. In the hand it has a soft, pliable texture.
Tilley Endurables is one of the first brands to use the cork material, and with it the company built a classic billed hat that could grace a hiker’s head or perhaps a character on “Mad Men.”
The Tec-Cork Hat is made in Canada. It looks like a tweed piece from far off. But up close you can see its outdoor-oriented touches, including ear flaps that can fold down when the wind picks up.
We asked Tilley why the brand used cork material in a cap. “The ability to create a hat without bulk was of importance to Tilley,” a rep told us. She said Corkshell is among the thinnest and lightest fabrics the company has used, adding that it “provides incredible warmth without adding weight.”
The cork hat made its debut at the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week. It ships to outdoor stores later this year and will cost $105. Wine shops not included.
—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor based in Denver.