What is cork?
Cork is a natural, 100% eco-friendly material that has been used for centuries in various sectors of industry and construction. It has many applications in the modern home because of its beautiful appearance, sustainability and excellent insulating properties.
Where Do Cork Trees Grow ?
The world's main cork oak forests are found in Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy, and North Africa. It is the climate and soil types of these regions that allow cork oaks to grow and flourish and serve as the primary source of raw material for the cork industry. Today more then half of the world's cork raw material comes from Portugal.
How Is Cork Harvested ?
Cork harvesting is the process of removing the bark off the cork tree. This is an extremely delicate operation made to look easy by the expertise of the cork harvesters. These experienced individuals use a machete to slice the bark into sections (the larger the section the better), and then they use a metal wedge to peel these sections from the trees. Although this is very strenuous work in itself, the harvesters need to take great care not to damage the very thin
skin-like membrane which is found between the bark and the inner trunks of each tree. If this membrane were to be damaged it would weaken and perhaps kill the tree. To register the harvest date and to ensure trees are not harvested again before the allowable nine years pass, after the bark is harvested the last number of the year of the harvest is painted onto each tree. Every tree, therefore, is a source of renewed raw material. The cork is cut from the same trees time and time again. This goes on for generation after generation for some 200 years. A tree in its prime at 80 years old can yield 440 lbs (200 kg). This is sufficient raw material to produce approximately 25,000 natural wine corks.
Properties Of Cork
There is no other material, either manmade or natural, with all the properties and characteristics that are unique to cork:
- rot resistant
- fire resistant in its natural state
What cork products we offer ?
- wooden boxes with cork interiors
- cork in a frame
- wall decorations