Cork is an ecological material, which is extracted from the corktree’s oak. It may be used as stock and has an unusual resistence and durability, due to the fact that after its extraction, the tree’s cork will regenerate naturally – a process that takes about nine years!
Cork is, above all, 100% natural, recyclable and reusable, therefore contributing to a more modern and eco-friendly society.
This material has currently a wide range of applications: coating, tiling, insulation (thermical and acoustical), instruments/tools, decoration, footwear and fashion acessories (including the industrial sector).
Despite its small territory, Portugal is surprisingly responsible for more than 50% of the worldwide cork production. Other manufacturers include its neighbours, such as Spain, the South of France and Italy, and more recently, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
CORK AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The forests where the cork trees reside are called “Montados”, which are very delicate and particular ecosystems. They only exist in the Mediterranean area, Algeria, Morocco, and particularly in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, such as Portugal, which owns the widest area of cork trees around the world: it has currently about 730 thousand hectares, which represents 33% of all the cork in the world.
These forests are, today, national heritage and have been legally protected throughout the centuries (decree: 169/2001).