Cork, an innovative alternative to leather

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Cork

When we speak of cork, we think of the corks of wine bottles. However, this material is already used enough as a substitute for leather. This is why this material is considered a beautiful alternative. Its exploitation is beneficial for the environnement, both for the preservation of biodiversity and for the absorption of CO2. 

CORK

This material is a natural resource, resistant, biodegradable and recyclable, extracted from cork oak. In a world increasingly sensitive to the preservation of the planet and the environment, the regular extraction of cork contributes to the natural regeneration of cork oaks. This tree is one of the species that absorbs the most CO2.

Cork oak

1 KG OF CORK = 50 KG OF C02  ABSORBED AND REMOVED FROM THE ATMOSPHERE

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS MATERIAL:

  • Strong and lightweight
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation, fire resistant
  • Waterproof to liquids
  • Elastic and compressible 
  • Hypoallergenic

CORK SUPPLIER COUNTRIES 

Portugal is the world’s largest producer with more than a third of cork production. Spain is the second largest producer with just under a third of world production. The rest is produced in Morocco and Algeria.

METHODS OF MANUFACTURING CORK 

The tree does not need to be cut to get the cork, just cut the bark every 10 years. Ths allows the bark of trees to regenerate throughout its life (170 years).

Cork extraction is not mechanized, so great skill and precision are required to prevent damage to the tree. The bark is cut with an axe, and they are stored for about 6 months to dehumidify the material.

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At the end of the process, the bark is cooked in water for an hour, and takes a board shape.

QUALITY CORK : How to identify it ?

There are several paramètres to consider. Here are some points to look at carefully : 

  • Thickness of boards 
  • Density
  • Porosity
  • Texture
  • Colour

The best pieces will be the most regular and less porous. You can see some cork products here.

Sneakers Nike cork
Nike Air Force cork

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