Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cork a Responsible Material? YES!
Cork is produced and harvested through the bark of the cork oak tree. Globally, the main cork oak forests are located in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Southern France.
The reason for this is due to the climate and types of soil produced within these areas.
These trees produce Suberin, a waxy substance which adds to the versatility and functionality of the cork, making it a valuable investment. The Suberin possesses qualities allowing it to resist rotting caused by moisture, mildew, mold, and insect infestation.
Cork oak trees are grown to be approximately twenty-five years of age before they can begin to be harvested. Using age-old techniques, the bark is gently
stripped from the tree and generally sent to factories where the cork is processed and used in the production of wine-stoppers. The excess waste product that is produced in this process is then gathered and processed into sheets of cork, used in flooring or wall tiling. This process is extremely eco-friendly due to the fact that all of the cork is used either in the initial process or by gathering the waste using it productively.
The corking industry is highly regulated to ensure the survival of the cork oak trees. As mentioned previously, trees must reach an age of twenty-five before they can be subjected to being stripped. Once a tree has been stripped, it may not be used again for seven to nine years, allowing the bark to regenerate. This cycle reinforces the concept of cork being eco-friendly because the tree species is being preserved by regulating the amount of time which is allotted for the tree to reproduce its bark so as not to injure the source.
** Note About Vegan**
Cork itself is a vegan material and all of our products are made through responsible earth friendly practices but we do have a handful of items that contain leather. If you have an interest in a product that looks to have other material than cork and are strictly vegan, please see item description to verify.
Does Cork Fabric feel or look like a wine stopper? No!
Cork stoppers are in the rawest form of cork and are plugged directly from the tree bark without much processing. Cork fabric uses this bark as well however it is first dried out, shaved, boiled, and then mixed with beeswax to a soft fabric backing. Cork fabric feels like an extremely soft leather to the touch. As a matter of fact, most people mistake it for a very unique leather.
How durable is cork? Very. It is as durable as leather yet has added qualities.
The reason cork is such a popular stopper for liquids is due to it's impermeability. What this means is that water, gels, liquids in general cannot penetrate cork leaving it resistant to mildew or stains. The owner of Queork set her new cork handbag down on a cupboard that she did not know had just been freshly painted white. It was 20 minutes before the painter noticed and brought it to her attention. She simply walked over to the sink, washed the bag bottom with mild soap and water on a sponge and the paint came right off.
Are any animals or trees harmed in cork harvesting? No. Cork harvesting is vegan.
Cork comes from the bark of the Cork Oak tree and is harvested about every 10 years by simply stripping the bark from the tree trunk only. No permanent damage can be done because of this long timeline between harvests and trees must be over 25 years old for the first harvest. Portugal houses over 60% of the world's cork forest and 99% of our items are made in Portugal and imported into the USA directly by Queork.
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