The bark of Cork Oaks is used to make cork leather. While most of the world's cork comes from the Mediterranean area of Europe, high-quality cork is also being cultivated in China and India. The bark of cork trees cannot be collected until they are 25 years old, and even then, only once every nine years. This does not hurt the tree in any way when done by a professional, but removing parts of the bark encourages regeneration and prolongs its life.
Between two and five hundred years, a cork oak may generate cork. When harvested by hand inboards, the cork is dried for six months before being boiled, flattened, and pressed. Suberin, a naturally occurring adhesive found in the cork, is pressed onto the cork sheet. The final product is flexible, supple, and sturdy, and it is the most ecologically friendly "vegan leather" on the market today.
How Cork Is Created
The cork tree bark develops in thick layers, which are then removed and used to make the substance we use today. Natural habitats for the cork tree include parts of Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
When harvesters remove the bark of cork trees, it regrows, which is a fantastic demonstration of nature's power. It is common for a tree to generate cork many times over its life span. Every 10 years or so, trees may be picked. Since most cork trees live for over 200 years, each can be harvested sixteen times.
Making Cork from the bark
Cork tree bark is often collected by harvesters using a specialized hatchet. To avoid causing any injury to the tree's live parts, they cut into the tree's trunk and delicately remove the bark. The bark is usually removed from the tree's trunk, although bigger trees may also have their lower branches used.
Making Leather from Cork
For six months, cork bark slabs are placed outdoors to air dry after being harvested. In general, exposure to the elements helps the bark flatten, strengthen, and heal so that it may be treated later on.
Steam and boiling water remove any tannins or debris after the cork has dried thoroughly. In addition to making the bark more malleable and usable, this procedure also softens and pliableizes it. A layer of cork is scraped off and crushed into blocks once the outer coating has been removed. Slices of the blocks are then utilized to make various products and accessories. It's all-natural and chemical-free, from harvesting the cork to producing the cork substance.
When it comes to ecological materials, cork is among the best in the business. Additionally, cork material has the following advantages:
- Flexible and very pliable.
- Veganism that is kind to the environment
- Stain-resistant and scratch-proof
- Water- and flammability-repellent by nature
- Cork is almost 50% air, therefore, it's super-lightweight!
- Aesthetically distinct and up to date
If you've been on the fence about getting a cork accessory, now is the time to plunge. Cork is a fantastic material that may meet all of your specific durability, sustainability, and style demands. Cork is a high-quality fabric that won't affect your pocketbook's environment, so you won't have to worry about it. In addition, its originality will endure for many years.
Cork leather is remarkably tough and long-lasting, given that it contains 50% air, which one would anticipate to result in a frail fabric. Products made with cork leather have been touted by manufacturers as being long-lasting; however, this claim has yet to be tested in the market. How long a cork leather product lasts is determined by the product's composition and the amount of wear it receives. Wallets made of cork leather are expected to endure a long time because of their elasticity and resistance to wear and tear. For a heavy-duty backpack, a cork leather backpack may not last as long as its leather counterpart.