What is cork?How it made of?
Cork oak is an astonishing tree, very long-lived and with an
enormous capacity for regeneration. It can live up to 200 years,
despite its bark being stripped around 16 times during its
lifetime, at nine-year intervals. So each time cork is harvested,
the tree is not killed and cork products are recyclable and
reusable making cork a perfectly sustainable.
Once the tree reaches a minimum age of 25 (some say 45 even) years
the cork bark is not good quality and so is not harvested. At
harvesting age, the bark is stripped from the tree with an axe by a
skilled cork worker in uniform sheets and taken by the truckload to
the factory. When the tree has been harvested a number is painted
on the tree with a special paint that will remain for 10 years to
let the workers know which trees are ready.
Once in the factory the cork sheets are boiled in water to break
down the cell structure and make the bark easier to work with. Once
dried the cork is shave from the top in very thin sheets similar to
the width of tissue paper. In this state it is transparent. This is
the top layer of cork fabric and it is glued to the fabric backing
which is most commonly a cotton/polyester blend that is the same
shade as the cork. These sheets of cork "tissue paper" are placed
together like patch work on the fabric and this is the reason for
the various colors and patterns seen on the fabric when viewing