Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree which is found mainly in coastal areas of Portugal and Spain. This is the only tree in the world that does not die when its bark is removed and so the tree is not harmed by removing the bark. The process of growing it's bark back takes the tree 9 years and in this process harmful CO2 is removed from the air making this an important part of preventing further global warming. Once the bark is removed from the base of the tree it is boiled to make it soft and then thin layers are glued to a cotton backing. Finally, the top of the fabric is sealed using a thicker clear silicone sealant. This sealant creates a protective layer over the outside of the cork fabric so that it is protected from stains and scratches. This also makes the fabric very easy to clean with just a sponge and water. The fabric and therefor the bags are water resistant as well as extremely lightweight.
FRENCH QUARTER, NEW ORLEANS
Orleans based QUEORK (pronounced "Cork") is owned by Amanda Dailey and Julie Araujo. It
became a full time business in early 2012 starting with internet sales
only of import products from Portugal. In April 2012, Amanda and Julie
visited Julie's family home in Estoril, Portugal where Amanda sought a
collar for her Bernese Mountain Dog Walter, but none could be found.
Finally, a cork manufacturer agreed to make the collar but only if they
bought 500 collars! At first this seemed like another dead end but
Amanda visited several pet stores in the following days asking if the
stores would be interested in retailing such a collar. After all, a
cork collar is mildew and odor resistant, hypo-allergenic, water proof
and the suberin in cork naturally repels mosquitoes! The retailers took
interest and the green light was given for 500 collars.
that first run, QUEORK started having it's own line of products
manufactured and designed several new items for the cork market that
were tested online and at various art festivals in New Orleans. During this time Amanda's obsession over cork earned her the nick name given by Julie as "The Queen of Cork" and thus the name "QUEORK". Once
the product line was tested, QUEORK gathered enough inventory to open a
store dedicated to all cork handbags and accessories located just 1
block east of Jackson Square in the French Quarter between Chartres and
Queork we are dedicated to all products made using genuine cork fabric.
Our products are made with 100% cork fabric which is a handmade
process of adhering thin slices of cork bark to fabric and sealing with silicone. Cork is an extremely durable product and is naturally water
and stain resistant.
To the touch cork fabric is soft like suede or extremely soft leather.
There are several patterns of cork fabric from natural to dark as well
as mixed striped patterns.
Why Cork Material?
wants to educate consumers on all of the amazing qualities of this
natural and vegan material. The reason cork has been used for hundreds
of years as a wine stopper is that the cell structures of cork bark are
impenetrable and at the same time its elasticity makes it flexible.
love the natural look and feel of cork but also this is one of the most
effective materials out there that is long lasting and durable. When
you think of a good bag that costs in excess of $100 think of the
following traits next to the traditional bags made of leather, suede or
other quality fabrics:
- Water and Moisture Resistant.
In the first week of owning her new cork bag the owner of QUEORK
unknowingly set her bag on wet paint for about 10 minutes before it was
brought to her attention. The bottom was covered in white paint and she
simply walked over to the sink and wiped the paint off with mild soap
and water using a sponge. Try that with suede.
- Fade and Stain Resistant. The majority of our retail clients today are those who have owned cork products over several years. It lasts!
When was the last time you had an ink pen leak through your bag to find
your investment ruined by something so common as a leaky pen?
- Cork is Vegan. -
The Cork Oak's bark is responsible for cork. The tree's first harvest
it when the tree reaches 25 years of age and the bark is stripped from
the tree much like a sheep's wool is sheared and the cork cannot be
re-harvested for about 10 years each time.
is extracted only from early May to late August, when the cork can be
separated from the tree without causing permanent damage.
- Lightweight/low density.
Cork floats! This is due to the characteristic that it is impenetrable
by liquids yet it has extremely low density. Think of 1 million tiny
balloons packed into 1 square centimeter of space and this is the
cellular structure of cork which is 50% air space. For many of us that
carry bags around full of heavy items, the last thing we need is the bag
to add extra weight to that burden. A cork bag weighs less than half
the weight of an identical bag made of leather and yes, we have put our
bags in the swimming pool to watch them float!
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