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One of Nature's most extraordinary materials

WHY CORK

Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus Suber L.)

100% natural, reusable and recyclable, cork is, whether from the environmental, social or economic perspectives, one of the world’s most versatile materials.

It takes each cork oak 25 years before it can be stripped for the first time and it is only from the third stripping (at 43 years of age) that the cork, then known as «amadia», has the high standard of quality required for producing cork stoppers. The first two harvests – the «virgin» cork and «secundeira» cork –, as well as that removed from the base of the tree, becomes the raw material for insulation, flooring and products for areas as diverse as construction, fashion, design, health, energy production and the aerospace industry.

The cork tree thoroughly develops the bark over the years. And man develops a refined technique for harvesting it. The cork is harvested by specialized professionals, always between May and August, when the tree is at its most active phase of growth and it is easier to strip without damaging the trunk. The cork oak is the only tree whose bark regenerates, acquiring a smoother texture following each harvest. Over the course of its lifetime, which on average lasts 200 years, it may be stripped around 17 times.

Harvested every nine years, without any tree being felled during the process, cork gives rise to an endless array of products, from the traditional to the most innovative and unexpected. The main product is the cork stopper, but not all cork qualifies to be transformed into that noble object.

Cork harvesting

The wise hands that plant the trees of the cork oak forest are the same ones that skilfully strip the bark every year. Removing the bark from each cork oak.

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