Cork is the bark harvested from the Cork Oak tree. Today more than half of the worlds cork raw material comes from Portugal. When the Cork Oak has reached 20 years of age, the bark is stripped from the tree and that tree is then marked with a number so that it will not be harvested again for nine years. This keep the cork trees in good health and producing good quality cork.
Every tree is therefore a source of renewed and sustainable raw material. The cork bark regrows and the cork is cut from the same trees time and time again. This goes on for generation after generation for some 200 years. As the cork tree continues to mature and go through harvest, the tree is able to absorb more carbon dioxide to support its bark regeneration. As a result, the harvested trees will filter more carbon dioxide than those left untouched, resulting in cleaner air for everyone.
The planks of cork are boiled to soften them, and also to clean them. To avoid cross-contamination, the water is cleaned, filtered and replenished regularly, with volatiles being removed on a continuous basis.
There is no other material, either human-made or natural, with all the properties and characteristics that are unique to cork : light weight, rot resistant, compressible and recoverable, expandable, fire resistant in its natural state, impermeable, soft, and buoyant. It is extremely resistance to wear and very durable.
If you are committed to protecting animal life cork fabric is the natural and sustainable vegetable leather you’ve been looking for. It looks like leather, but it comes from a tree.