Length: 3 min 50 sec (768 words)
What you will read in this article about cork fabric:
- Cork is a sustainable material.
- Cork bags are durable.
- Cork fabric is waterproof.
- Cork fabric can be easily cleaned.
- No tree is cut down or damaged to get cork.
- Cork is biodegradable.
Cork and Cork fabric
The uses of cork are much more than you think:
To name a few: You can find cork in bottles of wine or champagne as the most environmentally friendly solution for this use, but also in musical instruments as a binder of various parts, as tiles in special building constructions, as the base in cricket or baseball balls, as an insulator in spaceships and much more, because its properties and ecological production make it a unique material.
- From 3000 BC cork was used for fishing in China, Egypt and Persia. Cork shoes are found in the 4th century BC in Italy and the Greek philosopher Theophrastus refers to the miraculous cork tree due to "its ability to be reborn after every harvest".
- A cork tree lives about 300 years and is a type of oak. Cork harvesting begins in trees that are 25 years and older and takes place approximately every 10 years for as long as the tree lives.
- The trees are not damaged during the harvest in the summer months.
The process is done by skilled workers with special tools such as curved axes, that remove slices of material from the trunk of the tree.
Cork fabric is also used in the manufacturing of bags and other accessories. Cork material properties are similar to leather.
- Cork fabric is elastic
- Cork can be easily cleaned
- Cork is hypoallergenic
- Cork fabric is waterproof and very light, because more than 50% of its volume is air!
Cork fabric acquires these properties after a process that includes drying the cork in dry air for several months after harvest, steaming and pressurized heating.
So it is achieved, that the cork does not break, it is flexible and has a shape memory.
The procedures used in cork fabric production do not involve use of chemicals and make cork a perfect ecological alternative to leather.
Beware of low quality cork or even imitations of cork fabric!Here we gathered the answers to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about cork and cork fabric.
CORK FABRIC FAQ:
1. WHAT IS A CORK TREE?
A cork tree is a type of Oak that lives about 300 years. Its scientific name is Quercus suber, but it is commonly called cork oak.
It is medium sized (grows about 20 meters) and has green leaves throughout the year (evergreen oak).
2. WHAT IS CORK FABRIC MADE OF AND WHERE DOES CORK COME FROM?
Cork fabric is harvested naturally from the cork tree.
No trees are harmed during harvesting which is done by specialized workers using special tools.
The harvest takes place every 10 years on a tree that is minimum 25 years old.
The older the tree, the better the quality of the cork fabric and generally the first two harvests give cork fabric of weaker quality.
3. IS CORK FABRIC DURABLE AND ELASTIC?
Cork is as durable and has similar properties to leather making it an Eco alternative to leather.
Think that cork is used in construction, rocket science, shoe manufacturing and other demanding applications!
For the engineering and material science geeks, cork has a Young modulus of ~0.02GPa (yes it is comparable to the Young’s modulus of rubber). Check here for approximate more mechanical properties.
4. IS CORK FABRIC WATERPROOF?
Cork fabric is waterproof.
Remember, we use cork to seal liquid in bottles for centuries.
5. IS CORK FABRIC LIGHTWEIGHT?
Cork fabric is lightweight since it consists more than 50% of air – remember cork will float in water.
6. IS CORK BIODEGRADABLE?
Yes! Cork is both biodegradable and recyclable.
Since it is a natural product it can also be composted.
7. DOES CORK HARVESTING DAMAGE CORK TREES?
The harvest is done by specialized workers using special tools every 10 years, in a process that does not damage the trees.
More demand on cork fabric means more trees being planted!
8. HOW TO CLEAN CORK FABRIC?
Cork fabric can be easily cleaned! This is what you need to know:
- Cork is waterproof.
- It can be cleaned locally with neutral soap and water.
- The best way to clean cork fabric and a practical way for regular care is to use neutral and alcohol-free baby wipes!
- After cleaning, let cork fabric dry naturally.
That‘s it – so simple!
9. WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE BAGS YOU PRESENT IN YOUR STORE?
The bags we present to you are designed and handmade by the architect Maria Mavroudi using Cork and leather of exceptional quality.
Their unique contemporary design allows them to change shape and adapt to each need by taking advantage of cork fabrics unique properties. They are the most stylish convertible handbags.
A bag that changes shape during the day (backpack, tote, handbag, shoulder-bag) becomes useful for many different applications like shopping, going to work, a walk or yoga class as well, always complying to the highest standards of contemporary aesthetics.
Find some unique cork fabric bags (backpacks or totes, you decide) here.
- Check out our cork handbags collection here
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