Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus Suber L.), which means that it is a 100% natural material. It is formed by a hive of microscopic cells filled with an air-like gas. In its chemical composition, other compounds are also identified, although with less expression, such as polysaccharides, ceroids and tannins.
Removed every nine years, without any trees being cut during this process, cork gives rise to an infinity of products, from the traditional ones, to the most innovative and unexpected.
Each cork oak takes 25 years to be harvested for the first time and only after the third harvest (at 43 years of age) does cork, then called «amadia», have the highest quality. The first two extractions - «virgin» and «secundeira» cork - as well as the one removed from the base of the tree, result in raw material for products in areas as diverse as fashion, design, health, energy production or the aerospace industry.
Extraction is done by highly specialized professionals, always between May and August, when the tree is in a more active phase of growth and it becomes easier to unveil it without injuring the trunk. The cork oak is the only tree whose bark self-regenerates, acquiring a smoother texture after each extraction. It can be stripped about 17 times over a lifetime that is, on average, 200 years!
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