WHAT IS CORK?
Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree which grows primarily in Portugal, Spain, southern France and North Africa. The cork tree is the only tree which can regenerate after each harvest of bark.
Cork textile is light weight, soft, water repellent, durable and easy to maintain. These features make this eco-friendly material a great leather alternative.
HOW IS CORK TEXTILE MADE?
The cork bark has to be extracted carefully without causing damage to the tree so that it can regrow. To turn cork into fabric, it has to be boiled with water to alter the cell structure, expanding it to create a more manageable material. The boiled cork then gets shaven into very thin sheets and a cotton based backing is added to the sheets in order to increase durability.
WHY IS CORK SUSTAINABLE?
The cork tree is the only tree which can regenerate after each harvest of bark. The bark is removed from 2/3 of the tree with the first harvest after the tree has reached approximately 20 years of age. A thin layer of inner bark provides the tree with its unique ability to survive and regenerate after being debarked.
The cork oak trees can be harvested around every 10 years for 200 years or more, meaning a single tree can supply cork for many generations which makes it an eco-friendly and sustainable renewable material. It also does not require the use of heavy toxic chemicals like in animal leather production.