Maroquinerie en liège

Cork leather goods. A unique know-how for a trendy material.

★ The origin of cork

Cork is a material coming from the bark of some trees and mainly from the bark of cork oak. The tree produces a thick bark that protects it from insects, cold and bad weather while allowing it to breathe.
The particularity is that the tree has the ability to renew its bark when it is removed so barking does not require cutting down the tree. 


The first debarking can be done on a tree aged 20 to 25 years. These then produce a black, cracked, hard and low-value cork called "male cork". It is only after these first debarkings, called demasking, that the tree produces a more regular, more flexible bark that can then be used in industry or crafts. The cork thus produced is then called "female cork". 


The reproduction period of cork on a debarked tree is 9 to 15 years depending on the geographical regions. The average lifespan of a cork oak is 150 years, so a tree produces 12 to 15 cork barks during its lifetime.


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The qualities of cork

Cork has unique physical properties, and to this day there is no known material that equals or resembles it.

It is a lightweight material that weighs only 0.16 grams per cm3 and is very easily compressible up to 1/3 of its initial volume and, moreover, it is elastic, i.e. it returns to its initial shape after compression.

Cork is a material that is resistant to fire, temperature changes, humidity and is impermeable to water and gases, making it an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator.

In addition, cork is a 100% natural, hypoallergenic, recyclable and biodegradable material.

 

★ The main uses of cork

Traditionally, cork is used to make wine bottle caps. More than 80% of the world's cork production is used there.

Nevertheless, all these properties, combined in a natural material, make cork precious for various applications, some of which are unexpected.

Its lightweight and non-flammable properties allow it to replace the PVC used in the manufacture of aircraft fuselages in an advantageous way. It is also used in the space industry to manufacture heat shields.

Its thermal and acoustic insulation properties allow it to be used, in panels or aggregates, in the construction of ecological houses. It is now also used in home decoration;


Its flexibility, lightness and moisture resistance make it an excellent material for the manufacture of musical instruments of the wood family but also for the manufacture of badminton wheels for example.


The recent invention of cork fabric has revolutionized the fashion sector and made cork an excellent substitute to leather from animals for the creation and manufacture of accessories such as leather goods, of course, but also jewellery and fashion accessories.

 

★ Cork leather goods

Cork is a natural material known for its softness to the touch, lightness and resistance. These qualities make it attractive to creators in the fashion and leather goods sector.

Portuguese cork jewelry


Portuguese Cork Jewelry

Cork is a material that is easy to work with and which, thanks to laser cutting, allows you to give free reign to your imagination b freeing yourself from the constraints of other materials such as leather. This versatility makes it increasingly attractive to creators.

Portuguese cork handbags

Portuguese cork handbags

Harvesting cork does not hurt the tree and does not require cutting it down. The manufacturing process, therefore, fits perfectly into a philosophy of sustainable development and corresponds to the Vegan movement by positioning itself as an excellent alternative to animal leather.

Portuguese cork fashion accessories

Portuguese women fashion accessories

Tear-proof, flexible, light, rainproof, easily washable, cork is a material that also appeals to its users: the largest cork bags remain very light and waterproof, the wallets and purses made of cork  transferred from bags to bags remain insensitive to snags that usually mark leather, the earrings or bracelets do not weigh, do not mark the skin and can be worn without any problem.

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