- Made from Natural Cork
- Origin: Portugal
- Durability: 100,000+
- Scratch Resistant
PortugaliaCork is made of natural cork on a fabric backing, creating a high-performance vegan leather option. This vegan leather alternative is an innovative product that checks a lot of boxes. Along with being an incredible organic texture, cork is supple, durable, cleanable, and planet-friendly. Cork is a great upholstery for busy families who experience a lot of spills or dislike marks from pets on furniture.
You’ve seen it on shoes and floors and wine bottles, but what exactly is cork? Cork is the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber L). Once the tree reaches a mature age of 25, it is ready to be peeled off for the first time, but at 43 years of age, cork oak bark regenerates with the top-quality cork called amadia. With each harvest, cork acquires a smoother texture. It is composed of a honeycomb of microscopic cells filled with an air-like gas and coated mainly with suberin and lignin.
Portugal – the largest producer of cork – is where we get our cork leather alternative. Portugal has 1/3 of the total area of cork oak trees, and is responsible for around 50% of the world’s cork production. Portugal is not only exporting cork (around 65% of the world´s cork export) but also importing, mostly from Spain. Cork represents more than 30% of all forest products exported and 2% of all exported goods.
What makes it planet-friendly?
The cork oak tree is a very unique tree with a long lifetime and an enormous capacity for regeneration. Harvesting takes place always between May and August, when the tree is at its most active phase of growth and it is easier to strip the bark without damaging the trunk. An average cork oak tree can live up to 200 years which gives an opportunity to strip the bark around 16 times with 9-12 year intervals. From all the cork oak forests, approximately 340,000 tons of cork are harvested each year.
It is estimated that every year cork oak forests retain up to 14 million tons of CO2, a sizeable contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Cork oak also increases its ability to absorb these gases during the natural regeneration process that follows stripping. This means a stripped cork tree absorbs on average five times more CO2. The ability to retain carbon dioxide is also passed on to manufactured cork products, which continue to absorb CO2.
Okay, but Cork on Furniture?
It can be spectacular on an entire couch, but is a particularly fantastic option for beds and ottomans (we’ve done several cube ottomans), because of its incredible durability and stain resistance. Cork is well suited for tight back pieces like the Metro, Charlotte, Belmont, or Arden models. Call us today for swatches of this wonderful vegan leather alternative.