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Is Cork the Designer Material of the Future?

by Seb Egerton-Read | Circulate | June 9, 2015

Cork is best known for its usage in making wine stoppers, but a recent trend has seen it used by designers in a growing range of different products from fashion (umbrellas and bags) to furniture (tables and bowls).

There are a number of properties that make cork an attractive material – it is impermeable, buoyant, durable and fire resistant. It also has an advantage over other wood in that it is harvested from the bark of Cork Oaks without any forest being chopped down. It can be extracted around once per decade with the trees able to live for up to 300 years.

Besides involving a less wasteful extraction process and the versatility in the potential product applications, cork is biodegradable, easy to reuse and is resistant enough to be cycled through the economy several times.

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