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Bag Lady
11-15-2009, 06:18 AM
Hi all, I am wondering about the effects of cold weather on Cork. I live in a town with lake effect snow and frigid temps. Will Cork chip/flake off?

I am not worried about the effects of moisture on cork (I think water keeps it supple?)

I am drooling over the Steel/Cork Imago, but ordered the safe Blk instead because I wasn't sure how the Cork panel would handle the sub-freezing temps. BTW, this will be my Daily Carry Bag, so it has to be able to handle a bit of rough handling.

Thanks all, in advance!

Shiva
11-15-2009, 08:35 AM
Hey: I have not had any problems with the cork at all. I have had it soaking wet in major downpours...and nothing. I have not gone thru a winter yet, but I doubt it will. I have the Imago in Steel/cok/wasabi..and just love it!

s

backpack
11-15-2009, 05:27 PM
I have owned a Small Pouch, since Cork Organizer Pouches came out. It was either late 2005 or early 2006 whenever I placed my first order.

I have used it as my cell phone holder.
It has held many types of phones, including smart phones.
It is usually housed in the outside pocket of my Cafe Bag du jour.

As such it has dealt with East Coast bitter Winters, cool then warm damp Springs, very hot Summers and cool Autumns of the D.C area. It behaves like a champ in the cool Winter and burning hot and humid other seasons of the South.

I usually pay attention and make sure to put it in the outside Cafe Bag pocket after removing the phone but...
If my husband wants my smart phone, he just takes it and leaves the pouch to dangle from its lanyard, I have done it also when I had to make a quick phone call or answer it in a hurry.

As such, my Cork Pouch has been the least pampered of my TB Pouches.

While empty it made contact with restaurants floors, was rudely stuffed back in the Cafe Bag back pocket, or sometimes squeezed behind other pouches in the main compartment if I think that the Cafe Bag might stumble on a ride of some sort either on the back seat of a small plane, the underseat of an airliner or tucked between the car seat, floor, yours truly and the side panel.


Yet it still looks very good. There is a crease where the top of my cell phones usually stops.
A Mini is a much better choice for cell phones but I wanted more room to be able to slide the phone in and out of there in a hurry.

When I am in hurry, coordination becomes as good as Mr Bean's, things fall off at the most inopportune moment and it is a struggle to keep wardrobe malfunctions to a minimum.
I wear a sun hat and sunglasses from early Spring to late Fall and I always need a cardigan because I didn't grew up with the dreadful arctic air-conditioner during burning summers and I wear layers when it is minus something outside and the tropical heater is on at every mall, office or airport.


Tom Bihn bags have helped keep all my stuff in, get out the door and where I need to be in a reasonable time frame.

I love Cork and I am not a warm color person, Cocoa does nothing for me.
Owning a Cork item is like carrying a little piece of the forest where it comes from.

Knowing how vital that habitat is, I do hope TB is going to make more and more bags and accessories in Cork.

Bag Lady
11-15-2009, 06:42 PM
backpack: Thank you for the loving detailed bio of your Small Cork Pouch. :) Your description of it makes me want to get one for my iPhone!

Shiva: As always, I love reading your posts, they are all ever-so-helpful to me! BTW, could you post pic of yourself wearing your beautiful Cork Imago?

However, I am still a bit uncertain as to the suppleness of Cork in frigid temperatures, esp. since the Cork panel on the Imago will be naturally exposed to it, as opposed to a pouch which is mostly sheltered from the elements. I hesitate on the Cork Imago only because last winter, I vividly remember a fabric on my vest made a crunchy noise as it reacted to the sub-zero temps we had! This was while I was wearing it in the car, before the car had a chance to warm up.

(sigh) I am resigned to carrying the Blk Imago when it arrives, although I did swear to never carry a black bag again... would so love the Steel ballistic Imago, but I'm more of a green girl, not so much the red, what with red being the color of the Sith and all... ;-)

gmanedit
11-15-2009, 07:23 PM
Hi, Bag Lady.

"I am resigned to carrying the Blk Imago when it arrives": That's so sad—anticipatory buyer's remorse.

Why don't you call Darcy tomorrow and ask if the cork has been tested for your weather conditions? Does the product guarantee cover frigid weather?

Bag Lady
11-15-2009, 07:27 PM
gmanedit: Hey, now that's a great idea!!! I'll call tomorrow! Cross your fingers... and I'll keep y'all posted. TB forum posters rock!

gmanedit
11-15-2009, 08:10 PM
Fellow cork lovers: Wouldn't a cork Freudian Slip for the Synapse be a hoot? Anybody with me?

backpack
11-15-2009, 11:04 PM
Fellow cork lovers: Wouldn't a cork Freudian Slip for the Synapse be a hoot? Anybody with me?

Hey that's a great idea!

And... a great challenge for Tom because I cannot imagine how it could be done.

Would the body had to be regular fabric and the pockets Cork? Could it be all Cork?

moriond
11-16-2009, 07:38 PM
gmanedit: Hey, now that's a great idea!!! I'll call tomorrow! Cross your fingers... and I'll keep y'all posted. TB forum posters rock!

So what happened? My Imago with Cork looks like this Hunter/Cork/Sage (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=4247#post4247) bag of eristick's, and I really love the Cork.

Bag Lady
11-17-2009, 06:37 AM
So what happened? My Imago with Cork looks like this Hunter/Cork/Sage (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=4247#post4247) bag of eristick's, and I really love the Cork.
The 3 hour time difference really screws me up, the best time for me to make calls is in the morning, but I don't think anyone will answer at 6:36 a.m Seattle time. I think I'll email instead. Sorry to keep you hanging...

BTW, beautiful bag, I'm happy to see the flexibility of the Cork in your photo! How do you like the Hunter green? I see Hunter is not even an option anymore.

ex machina
11-17-2009, 02:32 PM
Fellow cork lovers: Wouldn't a cork Freudian Slip for the Synapse be a hoot? Anybody with me?

How cool is that?!

That is such an excellent design concept! How about the Horizontal Freudian Slip as well? Great idea, gmanedit! https://forums.tombihn.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

I'd jump on a Horizontal one in a flash. :)

ex machina
11-17-2009, 02:36 PM
The 3 hour time difference really screws me up, the best time for me to make calls is in the morning, but I don't think anyone will answer at 6:36 a.m Seattle time. I think I'll email instead. Sorry to keep you hanging...

BTW, beautiful bag, I'm happy to see the flexibility of the Cork in your photo! How do you like the Hunter green? I see Hunter is not even an option anymore.

I have a cork pouch. It's less like a cork board; it's very much a fabric with cork elements. I think you would be fine but in the end it is your coin.

Bag Lady
11-17-2009, 04:48 PM
I have a cork pouch. It's less like a cork board; it's very much a fabric with cork elements. I think you would be fine but in the end it is your coin.

I had a thought of buying one of those cork pouches and storing it in the freezer...

backpack
11-17-2009, 05:08 PM
I had a thought of buying one of those cork pouches and storing it in the freezer...

You shouldn't worry. It gets cold in Seattle and there are many pictures of Tom in all sort of environments where he tests his bags. I am sure the Cork fabric was given a test of freezing cold before being put on the market. :)

Emailing Tom Bihn Co is way better than emailing anybody or any company, you are assured of an answer in the shortest delay.

Keep us posted on the answer to the mystery of "Cork in the Cold". :)

ex machina
11-17-2009, 07:14 PM
I had a thought of buying one of those cork pouches and storing it in the freezer...
You shouldn't worry. It gets cold in Seattle and there are many pictures of Tom in all sort of environments where he tests his bags. I am sure the Cork fabric was given a test of freezing cold before being put on the market. :)

Emailing Tom Bihn Co is way better than emailing anybody or any company, you are assured of an answer in the shortest delay.

Keep us posted on the answer to the mystery of "Cork in the Cold". :)

I agree with backpack, asking TB directly will likely prove the shortest route to an answer. However, I'd like to reflect on the experiment design. Instead of putting the cork pouch in the freezer, I would clip one to the coat worn in the cold. That would give a more accurate measure of what the bag would be going through. Temperature changes indoor/outdoor, and realistic times of exposure.

Bag Lady
11-17-2009, 07:27 PM
backpack and ex machina: thanks for your thoughts on the Cork in the Cold mystery. I emailed TB & Co. earlier today, so hopefully will be able to post their response to my query soon!

In the meantime, I can't wait to get my hands on a piece of cork, so I'm ordering the Small Cork Pouch as a lovely new home for my iPhone right now...

ex machina
11-17-2009, 07:32 PM
backpack and ex machina: thanks for your thoughts on the Cork in the Cold mystery. I emailed TB & Co. earlier today, so hopefully will be able to post their response to my query soon!

In the meantime, I can't wait to get my hands on a piece of cork, so I'm ordering the Small Cork Pouch as a lovely new home for my iPhone right now...

Your very welcome, Bag Lady. I bet you'll like the cork pouch. It's fun! I think that is the 'secret' ingredient of Tom Bihn's bags: they're fun. https://forums.tombihn.com/images/icons/icon6.gif

gmanedit
11-17-2009, 07:48 PM
Wet the cork pouch, freeze it, thaw it, inspect it.

ex machina
11-17-2009, 08:09 PM
Set a plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range, fire 3 controlled bursts using the Heisenburg Compensation Protocol. Next, intersect a beam of anti-protons with the pouch. Complete by chanting 'Mum-Ra the Ever Living', while wielding the Sword of Omens in the traditional 3 slash summoning movement ending in contact with the pouch itself. Inspect pouch, return if marred.

This is the minimum standard quality control test for entry level pouches at TB. :rolleyes: <whistles, twiddles thumbs, shifts feet>

Bag Lady
11-18-2009, 07:04 AM
Set a plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range, fire 3 controlled bursts using the Heisenburg Compensation Protocol. Next, intersect a beam of anti-protons with the pouch. Complete by chanting 'Mum-Ra the Ever Living', while wielding the Sword of Omens in the traditional 3 slash summoning movement ending in contact with the pouch itself. Inspect pouch, return if marred.

This is the minimum standard quality control test for entry level pouches at TB. :rolleyes: <whistles, twiddles thumbs, shifts feet>

Stunned. Speechless. Amused.

Bag Lady
12-01-2009, 03:20 PM
Hi, Bag Lady.

"I am resigned to carrying the Blk Imago when it arrives": That's so sad—anticipatory buyer's remorse.

Why don't you call Darcy tomorrow and ask if the cork has been tested for your weather conditions? Does the product guarantee cover frigid weather?

As of today, Dec. 1, I still have not heard back from the TB folks. Does Darcy have some kind of hotline I'm not aware of? BTW, I think I emailed TB & Co. cuz as I remember, the time zone difference made it difficult for me to call.

Bag Lady
12-01-2009, 03:29 PM
Wet the cork pouch, freeze it, thaw it, inspect it.

Well, today, I received the mini Cork Pouch, so I am going to try this experiment! While I'm aware that I may be potentially sacrificing my $10 investment in the interest of science, I am still determined to go ahead with the testing. :eek:

Darcy
12-01-2009, 03:30 PM
Sorry for the late response: I think we were stumped, and your email was overlooked. Again, sorry about that!

Here's the thing - Cork is really, really tough stuff. Perhaps not as tough as 1050 denier ballistic nylon, but still very tough. We wouldn't use it if it wasn't tough. While no official cold weather experiments have been conducted on cork, I've used Cork Organizer Pouches and my Archetype (in Cork) since 2006 in Seattle weather, and other than the natural darkening of the cork, there's no change in it. We've sold Cork bags since 2006 to customers all over the world and haven't heard of any complaints or problems from customers.

When we first began using the cork fabric, we did tie a Cork Organizer Pouch to the bicycle of an employee who biked to and from work everyday in all kinds of Seattle weather (including snow), and other than that natural darkening, it was as good as new.

I hope this helps!

ex machina
12-01-2009, 03:32 PM
As of today, Dec. 1, I still have not heard back from the TB folks. Does Darcy have some kind of hotline I'm not aware of? BTW, I think I emailed TB & Co. cuz as I remember, the time zone difference made it difficult for me to call.

They've been swamped. Resend the request or ring them up at 1-800-729-9607 or 1-360-452-0115. :)

Edit: Doh! I just saw that Darcy responded while I was writing the above.:o

ex machina
12-01-2009, 03:39 PM
When we first began using the cork fabric, we did tie a Cork Organizer Pouch to the bicycle of an employee who biked to and from work everyday in all kinds of Seattle weather (including snow), and other than that natural darkening, it was as good as new.

I hope this helps!

Low tech real world testing: so cool. :cool:

backpack
12-01-2009, 03:45 PM
Well, today, I received the mini Cork Pouch, so I am going to try this experiment! While I'm aware that I may be potentially sacrificing my $10 investment in the interest of science, I am still determined to go ahead with the testing. :eek:

Hold off the experiment!

But we need to know your experience with the Smalll Cafe Bag and the Wallet. :)

ex machina
12-01-2009, 04:14 PM
Hold off the experiment!

But we need to know your experience with the Smalll Cafe Bag and the Wallet. :)

I like the experiment. :) What about attaching the pouch to the hub of a car tire for a week? Maybe a key strap wrapped through the hub and both ends attached to the pouch. Any scuba divers in the forum who can take one to deep depths? I'd like to attach one to a bathysphere and drop it in the Marianas Trench. I saw a picture of a Styrofoam cup that was done too, and it was compressed but still had its original shape!

I Googled and found a bunch of cups (http://rachelandmike.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/shrunkencups.jpg) that have made the trip. Talk about stress testing! :p

gmanedit
12-01-2009, 04:42 PM
This has been a fun thread.

Darcy, while you're here: Does Nikwax work on cork? Is it recommended for eventual cork maintenance?

Bag Lady
12-02-2009, 05:19 AM
Sorry for the late response: I think we were stumped, and your email was overlooked. Again, sorry about that!

Here's the thing - Cork is really, really tough stuff. Perhaps not as tough as 1050 denier ballistic nylon, but still very tough. We wouldn't use it if it wasn't tough. While no official cold weather experiments have been conducted on cork, I've used Cork Organizer Pouches and my Archetype (in Cork) since 2006 in Seattle weather, and other than the natural darkening of the cork, there's no change in it. We've sold Cork bags since 2006 to customers all over the world and haven't heard of any complaints or problems from customers.

When we first began using the cork fabric, we did tie a Cork Organizer Pouch to the bicycle of an employee who biked to and from work everyday in all kinds of Seattle weather (including snow), and other than that natural darkening, it was as good as new.

I hope this helps!

Thanks, Darcy. I understand about overlooked emails, I've been there!

I love how you tested the cork by tying it to a bicycle! That is too cool.

I really didn't understand about cork fabric until I held it in my hands yesterday. It is amazingly thin and flexible. I did go ahead with my experiment: spritzed it with a water bottle, and it's been in my freezer overnight. (sounds cruel, I know :() I just checked on it, and it still looks good. Only a little bit of ice has collected on it. I'll leave it there for another day, thaw it out, and will bend it to see if anything will flake off. Then I will be satisfied. :)

ex machina
12-02-2009, 08:47 AM
I did go ahead with my experiment: spritzed it with a water bottle, and it's been in my freezer overnight. (sounds cruel, I know :() I just checked on it, and it still looks good. Only a little bit of ice has collected on it. I'll leave it there for another day, thaw it out, and will bend it to see if anything will flake off. Then I will be satisfied. :)

Way cool, Bag Lady! I look forward to reading your results.:cool:https://forums.tombihn.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

Darcy
12-02-2009, 09:46 AM
This has been a fun thread.

Darcy, while you're here: Does Nikwax work on cork? Is it recommended for eventual cork maintenance?

Cork is naturally water-repellent. I'm not sure if it needs Nikwax (none of my cork bags seem like they need that - yet) but we are testing Nikwax on a swatch to see if it harms the cork in any way.

ex machina
12-02-2009, 10:32 AM
Cork is naturally water-repellent. I'm not sure if it needs Nikwax (none of my cork bags seem like they need that - yet) but we are testing Nikwax on a swatch to see if it harms the cork in any way.

Oh, this is great! More testing! :)

I think people are having a tough time envisioning the cork fabric and make no mistake, it is a fabric. It is not cork stuck on a fabric. My cork pouch is unlike any cork I had previously experienced. I made a quick video (http://www.flickr.com/photos/34707625@N04/4153664256/) so people can see the flexibility and fabric nature of the cork material. This isn't wine bottle type cork. Though to be sure, it is cork, and you can feel that in the texture.

maverick
12-02-2009, 10:35 AM
I made a quick video (http://www.flickr.com/photos/34707625@N04/4153664256/) so people can see the flexibility and fabric nature of the cork material.

that's an awesome video, ex machina! it really shows the cork fabric really well! thanks!!

ex machina
12-02-2009, 10:40 AM
that's an awesome video, ex machina! it really shows the cork fabric really well! thanks!!

My pleasure, maverick. Glad you like it. I hope it helps clear up some of the conceptual hurdle for those who haven't had the opportunity to experience this material first hand. :)

backpack
12-02-2009, 02:04 PM
that's an awesome video, ex machina! it really shows the cork fabric really well! thanks!!

Couldn't have said it better, this is a really really great video.

Knitter can relate as there is yarn made of bamboo.

Cork is really an amazing fabric and it makes a great "green" statement and each tree layer so each piece of fabric, hence each Tom Bihn Cork product is unique!

gmanedit
12-02-2009, 02:26 PM
Great video, ex. I didn't realize the pouch was cork on both sides.* Guess I'll be adding one to my next order (the eventual Synapse Freudian Slip).

*Official clarification needed: The product page says "1000 denier Cordura fabric on the back side." Are they now cork on both sides?

ex machina
12-02-2009, 09:58 PM
I think that 1000 cordura refers to the inner fabric of the pouch, or the backside of the outside. Both sides = inside/outside (My best guess.)

But that's just my take and not an official TB position. I'd like to hear if I am correct or not from a bona fide TB Staffer. ;)

ex machina
12-02-2009, 10:00 PM
Great video, ex. I didn't realize the pouch was cork on both sides.* Guess I'll be adding one to my next order (the eventual Synapse Freudian Slip).

*Official clarification needed: The product page says "1000 denier Cordura fabric on the back side." Are they now cork on both sides?

Glad you like it. I am all smiles with the positive feedback on my little video. I posted my best guess above and am waiting with you for the official statement. :cool:

falconea
12-03-2009, 01:29 PM
Darn - I think I need one of these!

Audrey

Darcy
12-04-2009, 01:10 PM
This just in: Nikwax (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/NIKWAX) works wonderfully on cork. It makes the cork noticeably more water-resistant.

ex machina
12-04-2009, 01:13 PM
This just in: Nikwax (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/NIKWAX) works wonderfully on cork. It makes the cork noticeably more water-resistant.

Woohoo! Another great test concludes with useful data! Thanks, Darcy! :)

Bag Lady
12-05-2009, 05:24 AM
Hi all, sorry it took me awhile to tell you my findings of the Cork Pouch Experiment.

To recap:
1) Spritzed the front and back with water until thoroughly wet.
2) Placed in my freezer for 48 hours. A thin coating of frost accumulated on the snap hook mechanism. A very small patch of thin sheet of ice accumulated on the cork.
3) Removed cork from freezer to let it thaw. Did not feel wet or damp as it warmed up to room temperature.
4) Once it reached room temperature, folded it numberous times, a la ex machina's video, no consequences! No flaking, chipping, breaking of cork. Snapped back beautifully. And it still looks great!

I can finally have peace of mind that the Cork Fabric will wear extremely well in my lake-effect snow part of the world that I live in!!!!!:):):):):):)

This test has been concluded.

Bag Lady
12-05-2009, 05:47 AM
Hi, Bag Lady.

"I am resigned to carrying the Blk Imago when it arrives": That's so sad—anticipatory buyer's remorse.

Why don't you call Darcy tomorrow and ask if the cork has been tested for your weather conditions? Does the product guarantee cover frigid weather?

Hi gmanedit! I have been using the Blk/Blk/Wasabi for several weeks now and loving it. No buyer's remorse here! That's because since I mostly have it sitting on my desk/counter/car seat next to me, I usually have the flap open and therefore see the beautiful Wasabi, instead of the sea of black. Also, I have the new Medium Cafe Bag in Steel already loaded with my essentials that I keep in my car so I tend to pull my wallet and cell phone out of my Imago, and place them in the MCB and carry that in and out of stores. When I do that, I buckle up the Imago, and tuck it out of sight (usually in the front passenger seat leg area, within a larger Lands End bag.)

Also, I clipped my small Cork Pouch to the open front pocket that's lined with Wasabi, and I just love how the Cork and Wasabi look together, green and brown, how can you go wrong with that?

Alas, since I've been bitten by the Bihn bug, I know deep in my heart that I will eventually order the Steel/Cork/Wasaki Imago, esp. now that I am confident the Cork will survive the snow/freeze combination. But since these bags are made so well, I can't justify it right now. Maybe I'll order it soon in case they discontinue the color scheme, and save it for later...

gmanedit
12-05-2009, 11:00 AM
Hi, Bag Lady. Congratulations on the success of your experiment. Thanks to you, ex machina, and Darcy, we've learned that cork freezes and crumples to no ill effect and can be Nikwaxed for more weatherproofing.

I'm glad your black bag is working out. If you lived in New York, where the first rule is never leave anything in your car, you could order the steel/cork/wasabi after your car was broken into. :)

ex machina
12-05-2009, 11:41 AM
Hi all, sorry it took me awhile to tell you my findings of the Cork Pouch Experiment.

To recap:
1) Spritzed the front and back with water until thoroughly wet.
2) Placed in my freezer for 48 hours. A thin coating of frost accumulated on the snap hook mechanism. A very small patch of thin sheet of ice accumulated on the cork.
3) Removed cork from freezer to let it thaw. Did not feel wet or damp as it warmed up to room temperature.
4) Once it reached room temperature, folded it numberous times, a la ex machina's video, no consequences! No flaking, chipping, breaking of cork. Snapped back beautifully. And it still looks great!

I can finally have peace of mind that the Cork Fabric will wear extremely well in my lake-effect snow part of the world that I live in!!!!!:):):):):):)

This test has been concluded.

Fantastic! Thanks for doing your experiment Bag Lady, and posting your results. :D

ex machina
12-05-2009, 12:01 PM
I'm glad your black bag is working out. If you lived in New York, where the first rule is never leave anything in your car, you could order the steel/cork/wasabi after your car was broken into. :)

My uncle had his trunk broken into, and a small duffel/gym bag stolen. All the duffel contained were childhood memories (pictures, etc.) that he was transporting from his mother's old house. Stuff that was worthless to anyone except himself.

Bag Lady
12-06-2009, 07:22 AM
I'm glad your black bag is working out. If you lived in New York, where the first rule is never leave anything in your car, you could order the steel/cork/wasabi after your car was broken into. :)


Wow, gmanedit, I live in a big little town where people still live their house doors unlocked! Once a good friend of mine dropped her wallet in the parking lot and when she got home several hours later, the finder of the wallet had returned the wallet and left it on her kitchen counter! Another friend used to leave her keys in her ignition in the parking lot at the grocery store. I've also seen keys tossed on the front driver's seat as the owner popped into the store (this scenario usually involved rugged looking manly types with pick-up trucks. I guess pocketing your keys is not cool with these types?)

All the same I know better, I'm from Detroit! I even lock my car when I pop over to my friends' houses for five minutes and I park in front of their house on the street. My motto is better safe than sorry even if it makes you look a little silly.

So, between the low odds of having my Imago stolen and the high durability of Tom Bihn bags, I'll be (happily) carrying my Blk/Blk/Wasabi Imago for a looooong while until such time comes that I can justify another investment! ;)