What is CORK?

Cork oak is a natural, light and flexible material that is completely renewable and recyclable. The thick, spongy bark has a honeycomb structure composed primarily of cellulose and suberin. The watertight cells make it impermeable to liquids and gas, and this combined with its elasticity, ensure its one of the best materials for wine seals and insulation sheets.

CorkSpaces' Captain 45 Lamp

the FOREST IN THE BOTTLE

Cork was not internationally recognised until the late seventeenth century when Dom Pérignon first used it to seal the fizz and flavour of his champagne bottles. It has since been synonymous with wine, and after the mass-production of wine seals by the American inventor, William Painter, the wine and cork industries have successfully evolved alongside one another.

 

WHERE IS IT GROWN?

Portugal has nearly a third of the planet’s cork oak forests and is the world’s largest producer of cork, responsible for approximately 55% of all cork produced annually. Only material harvested in the western Mediterranean has the premium quality expected of international consumers.

How IS it PRODUCED?

 

Cork oak trees are stripped by hand in late spring and summer when its cells are soft and easy to remove. Mature trees are harvested every nine years and given time to restore their protective cells for future use. The lifespan of a cork oak tree is about 300 years. Once it reaches the end of its life, two saplings are planted in its place assuring that the forest continues to survive.

 

“No tree is ever cut down”

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characteristics & aPPLICATIONS

 

Cork’s cell membranes resemble a honeycomb structure enabling it to provide beauty, protection and durability to everything from wine stoppers to acoustic flooring.  Besides that, it has been used by some of the world’s most celebrated architects, fashion designers, engineers and artists in different fields.  

 

Arts & Fashion & Technology

In tribute to Antoni Gaudí’s spiritual and decorative love of nature, Barcelona’s Sagrada Família flooring was coated in cork. The trend was followed by the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan and Nezu Museum in Tokyo. Also, some of the world’s most famous designers: Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, Prada and Stella McCartney have integrated cork in their collections. In the world space industry, NASA has chosen cork to protect the heat shields and plates coating on their spacecraft.

Cork characteristics and applications