Cork is the outer bark from the cork oak tree which grows along the west Mediterranean basin. It is harvested by hand by highly skilled professionals. Cork harvesting is done around 12-16 times within the tree’s 150-200 year lifespan, in a 9-12 year interval. Portugal has one third of the cork oak population and is the largest producer. Cork harvesting in Portugal is regulated by law to protect the valuable resource and regulate the quality of the harvest.
The cork oak is a remarkable tree. It is the only tree that benefits from the removal of its bark and since it regenerates, it is a truly sustainable natural resource. When the harvest is done the tree absorbs about 5 times the CO2, making harvesting an important process in reducing greenhouse gases.
The cork fabric production process is also environmentally friendly. Once the cork is harvested from the cork oak it is boiled, dried, shaved into thin sheets and sealed with a non-toxic sealant. Naturally occurring properties of cork include hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, sustainable, lightweight, and is resistant to abrasion, fire, and water.
For more information about working with cork, please visit our FAQ page.
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