Cork is awesome to work with. I don't have to change ANYTHING. I use a regular 80 needle (Universal) and a regular sewing foot. It's thin and easy to sew through, and provides a really beautiful finish.
Let's get to it.
Cut two cork strips at 2.5" wide x (desired) length-- mine are 52" long.
Fold in half lengthwise and use wonder clips to hold this fold in place while top stitching along each long edge. Trim short ends, and measure the straps to be sure they are exactly the same length.
If making the bottom accent piece with cork like my bag, cut cork 20" wide x 8" tall and focus fabric 20" wide x 9.5" tall. Sew RST (right sides together) with 1/4" SA to the focus fabric. Press seams towards cork and top stitch seam down if desired.
Place straps onto exterior panels of bag.
Stitch to secure in place, remembering to lock stitch.
BE SURE the straps match on the bottom- if placement is off, you'll notice.
When it's time to add the zipper closure, simply fold the straps down out of the way and add the zipper as instructed. Sometimes I pin them down, sometimes not. It really depends if I'm feeling my sewing MoJo or not.