Normal wear & tear for cork yoga mats
Yoga mats are essential companions for our practice, but they're not immune to the wear and tear of regular use. In this blog post, we'll explore the natural signs of aging that your cork and rubber yoga mat may experience over time. Learn how to care for your mat and make it last, so it can continue to support your practice for the long haul.
What is normal wear and tear?
Normal wear and tear for a cork and rubber yoga mat refers to the expected, gradual signs of aging and use that naturally occur over time. These signs may include:
Surface Discoloration: Due to the natural oils and sweat from your skin, the cork surface of the mat may darken or change color. This is a common and harmless occurrence that doesn't affect the mat's performance.
Frayed Edges: Some fraying or strings of material around the edges of the mat may appear as the mat ages. This can happen as a result of friction and use but can be trimmed without affecting the mat's integrity.
Ink Design Fading: If your cork yoga mat has an ink design, you may notice some fading, especially during the initial months of use. This fading is normal and occurs as the top layer of ink wears off, keeping the deeper layers of ink and maintaining the design beneath.
Softening of Rubber: The rubber backing of the mat may become slightly softer over time, which can actually improve its grip as you practice, particularly during hot yoga sessions.
It's important to note that these signs of normal wear and tear do not necessarily mean the mat is no longer usable. In fact, they often indicate that the mat is well-loved and has supported your yoga practice for an extended period. With proper care, a cork and rubber yoga mat can continue to serve you well for a long time, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly choice.
The Cork Yoga Mat Endurance Test
We gifted a Zenful Yoga cork yoga mat to a local yoga studio (Local Health Yoga) and their yoga instructors have been using it for approximately 18 classes per week for over 14 months. This equates to over 1000 uses. The average yoga mat lasts approximately 144 uses (the equivalent of around 1 year). This means that a cork+rubber yoga mat could last you a lifetime. Depending on how often you use your mat and if you take good care of it, it can last 5-20 years.
Lets take an example:
If you use a Zenful Yoga cork yoga mat 3x per week for 10 years, you will have used it around 960 times. That is still less uses than the above mentioned yoga studio used their mat, and it is still being used 3-5x per day and is in excellent condition.
Below is an actual photo of the yoga mat that this yoga studio is using. As you can see it has some discolouration from body oils on the surface of the mat and the design has started to fade. This is completely normal! The mat is still in very good condition and actually becomes even more grippy the more it is used.
So, when you invest in a cork and rubber yoga mat, you're not just getting a sustainable and eco-friendly choice, you're also getting a durable companion for your yoga practice that can withstand the test of time. It's a testament to the quality and resilience of cork yoga mats that truly makes them a worthwhile investment for any yoga enthusiast.
Is there a difference in laser engraved vs. ink design cork+rubber yoga mats?
Yes, there is a difference between laser engraved and ink design cork and rubber yoga mats, primarily in terms of durability, appearance, and how they age:
Laser Engraved Cork Yoga Mats:
Durability: Laser engraved designs are typically more durable than ink designs. The laser engraving process involves etching the design into the cork surface, creating a permanent and deep impression. This design is less likely to fade or wear off over time.
Appearance: Laser engraved designs tend to have a more natural and earthy appearance. The engraving process often highlights the natural texture and color variations of the cork, giving the mat a unique and rustic look.
Longevity: Laser engraved designs are known for their longevity. The design remains intact, even after prolonged use and regular cleaning.
Ink Design Cork Yoga Mats:
Durability: Ink designs are typically less durable compared to laser engraving. The ink is applied to the surface of the cork, and over time, it may start to fade or wear off, especially in high-friction areas.
Appearance: Ink designs can offer a wider range of colors and intricate patterns, allowing for more creativity in the design. However, they may not showcase the natural texture of the cork as prominently as laser engraving.
Longevity: Ink designs may experience some fading, particularly during the initial months of use. However, with proper care, you can slow down the fading process, and the design will stabilize, ensuring it doesn't spread elsewhere on the mat.
I just bought an ink-design yoga mat, why is the ink coming off?
This is completely normal for ink-design cork+rubber yoga mats. If the ink on your yoga mat is coming off, it's important to understand that this is a normal part of the mat's initial usage, and there are ways to minimize further ink loss and maintain the design:
Initial Ink Release: Many ink-design yoga mats undergo an "initial ink release" period, especially during the first few uses. During this time, the top layer of ink that was applied to the surface may come off. The deeper layers of ink are strongly rooted in the surface of the mat and will maintain the integrity of the design, while it will fade slightly after the initial "ink release" period, the design will remain in tact.
Regular Cleaning: To minimize further ink loss, it's important to clean your mat gently. Use cold water in the bathtub or shower and a soft, non-abrasive sponge to clean the mat. Avoid using chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as they can accelerate ink fading. A soft sponge, water, and soap or essential oils will do the trick.
Patience: Over time, the ink design will stabilize, and you should notice less and less ink coming off. The deeper layers of ink are more secure, and as the top layer wears away, the design becomes more resilient.
Normal wear and tear example photos: