Where do CorkStyle Shop products come from?
CorkSytle Shop products are manufactured from the outer bark of the evergreen oak known by the Latin name Quercus (oak) Suber (cork), which grows in Portugal. Skilled workers harvest them ethically and sustainably without causing any injury to the tree or the environment.
What part of the tree is harvested?
The cork is made from the bark of a certain kind of oak tree (Quercus suber).
What happens to the trees after they are harvested?
The trees that are harvested and marked with a number (to ensure that the next harvest will be in due time) the trees are left for nine years, the time necessary to reproduce new bark. The trees can live two hundred years or more.
Does harvesting the cork damage the trees?
Not at all. When the cork reaches maturity, it begins to separate naturally from the tree. Then using a process refined over centuries workers assist in the release by harvesting the cork and leaving behind a healthy tree. As soon as the tree is harvested, it begins the process all over again. In order to insure that the trees are healthy, the first, initial harvesting of the cork does not occur until the tree is 25 to 35 years of age.
When are the trees harvested for the first time?
Cork oaks are harvested for the first time when they have reached a circumference of 80 cm. A tree will not reach this size until it is at least 25 years old. Cork bark is removed from trees in spring or summer. At this time of year, the cork comes away easily from the trunk because the tree is growing, the sap levels are at their highest point and the new, tender cork cells break easily.
How often is the ‘cork tree’ harvested?
The cork is harvested once every 7 to 10 years as it matures. Early harvesting tends to yield a lower quality cork suitable for bottle stoppers or wall cork-boards. Only the most mature, higher quality cork is used in the fashion industry.
Where else in the world do the ‘Cork tree’ grow?
Though the Cork Oak can flourish in many climates, the conditions that favour commercial use lie almost exclusively in one area; the Western basin of Europe and Northern Africa along the Mediterranean coast. Today, the center of the world's cork oak forest is concentrated in Southern Europe; Portugal, Spain, Italy & France.
What is so special about Cork products?
CorkSytle products are manufactured from the bark of Oak trees. The sustainability of its production and the easy recycling of cork's products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects. What makes Cork a unique product is its properties: Lightness, Elasticity, Impermeability, Insulation, and Resistance to wear and tear, Hypoallergenic and Fire resistant. In buying and using cork products, you are contributing to the preservation of a natural, renewable resource and ecological environment in western Mediterranean countries.
How do I care for my CorkStyle Shop product?
Unlike its cousin, leather, cork does not need to be conditioned. It is easily cleaned by soap. Simply wipe the dirty spot with a clean cloth and a little liquid soap and water. Remove any excess soap with a damp cloth and Allow the item to dry naturally.
How durable are CorkStyle Shop products?
Cork products are as durable as medium quality leathers. While perhaps not as durable as top cowhide, it has equivalent durability as eel skin, snakeskin and yes-even lambskin.
Do the products change with time?
Yes. Cork skin, like any other genuine skin, such as leather, reacts when in contact with the human skin, so it may get a litter darker due to sweat. Gradually, over a long period of time as the item is used, more of the inner tar becomes visible and the accessory changes its colour appearance. It is like a fashion chameleon.
Are CorkStyle Shop products waterproof?
Yes. they are waterproof and weather proof to rain, snow and hail.
Can I clean stain marks? Red wine? Pen Marks?
Yes, Just rub a soap-soaked cloth on the area and it will disappear.
Are CorkStyle Shop products environmentally sustainable?
Yes. There is no damage to the trees harvested. Cork is environmentally friendly; In the production process, there is no waste (the waste is used for stoppers). No dyeing is involved in the process. Cork offers an alternative for people who would like to stay away from leather. It reflects the new global commitment to the environment.
Are CorkStyle Shop products biodegradable?
In the production, process there is no waste (the waste is used for stoppers). No dyeing is involved in the process. Once the product is discarded, it is decomposed completely over a short period of time.
Are CorkStyle Shop products fire resistant?
Yes, but that does not mean it is fireproof (It will burn if heated for long enough).
What accounts for the cost of CorkStyle Shop products?
CorkStyle Shop products are made of a unique material, cork. Cork comes from bark of trees that grow almost exclusively in one region of the world- the Mediterranean west basin and on the Atlantic coast. CorkStyle Shop bags are carefully constructed of fine quality cork in a factory in Portugal. The cork industry is regulated by the Government of Portugal, to ensure that the best care and ethics are applied in harvesting. The products are constructed by fairly paid professional workers. They'd be less expensive if we had them produced in China or Vietnam. The price of the products is tied to the value of the EURO, the European currency.
Is there enough cork to make cork bags?
"I heard there is not enough cork for cork wine stoppers."
Cork has been the preferred sealer for fine wines around the world, yet there is a wide spread story, that due to shortage of cork supply, the wine industry has decided to resort to plastic stoppers. Having traveled extensively through Portugal, we realized that the shortage of cork supply is a myth. Vast areas of the southern part of Portugal are covered with cork oak. People in the cork industry confirmed that there are plenty of cork trees and that regular planting is securing a continuous and stable supply.
There is enough cork today in the forests of Portugal to last more than 100 years. Under a reforestation program, Portugal's cork forests are now growing by four percent a year on average.