How does the bark of an Oak-cork tree become cork fabric?
Cork oaks are harvested for the first time when they reach a circumference of 80cm. A tree will not reach this size until it is at least 25 years old. Virgin cork has a coarser structure. Only the second harvest will produce the necessary finer quality, but patience is needed since cork oaks can only be stripped every 9 years. Cork is harvested during the summer months, because it is easier to remove the bark when sap levels are at their highest point. Harvesting requires professional skills and experience-any cut too deep can damage the growth tissue of the tree.
The bark is stacked and dried for six months in the open air, the selected planks are stacked in piles to be exposed to sun, wind and rain for During this period, the cork texture stabilizes then it is sorted by thickness and quality.
The pieces of bark are boiled and steamed. This rids the material of insects, parasites and dirt. The procedure also removes the tanning agent, which increases the flexibility of the material.
Heat and high pressure are used to press the cork into thick blocks that are later sliced to thin sheets. The sheets are cut into panels, sanded and glued onto the cotton-based core material. No dye or chemicals are involved. The long process brings to life Cork fabric: A durable, natural, fashionable material that reflects an aspiration for a world more in tune with nature