Photo by Júlio Gaspar Reis.
Cork is obtained directly from the bark of the oak tree, almost by hand and in a very environmentally friendly manner. During extraction the tree is not damaged, allowing the bark to regenerate over time. This process is called “saca del corcho” and is performed mainly in the summer months for optimal extraction.
The cork has many applications, but in the fashion industry the most widely used is “cork fabric” or “cork leather” which is achieved by laminating the cork in very thin layers and attaching it to a special coating which may vary according to the use that it’s destinated for.
The durability of “cork fabric” is high enough, almost similar to leather and it’s a product which has many advantages:
– It is ecological, environmentally friendly and a completely natural material.
– It is very durable and it also has a soft touch that many compare to leather, but it’s really something different and incomparable.
– It is hypoallergenic, it absorbs no dust and despite being organic it’s immune to microorganisms
– It is waterproof and easily washable.
Besides cork it’s a local product because the Iberian Peninsula is the area where most cork is produced in the world. In Spain specifically it’s produced in Extremadura, Andalusia and the Mediterranean area.
For all these reasons I decided a while ago to use cork for crafting my bags and it’s giving me a great result. The cork gives each bag a special and unique touch, the texture is amazing and consistent. And everyone wants to touch them! It’s irresistible!