More and more designers and architects are including cork in their project. There are several reasons for it.
Firstly, the need for ecofriendly and sustainable solution due to the raising awareness of the consumers and users.
Secondly, cork has a unique material is characteristics. Easy to maintain, antibacterial and long lasting are just a few of those. Furthermore, it can be applied in many ways in indoor spaces. It can be placed on the walls, floors, furniture lining and much more – always providing a warm and natural vibe to a setting. And then it’s a material that gives more than it takes from an environmental perspective.
One of many unique facts about cork is that has a negative carbon footprint because it absorbs more carbon than it emits throughout both the production process and its lifetime! In other words: Cork is a true ‘eco-darling”.
Most cork is sourced from Portugal, the home for an evergreen tree commonly called the cork oak. After about 20 years the bark can be harvested from the trunk and thicker branches. Like all plants, the cork oak absorbs carbon and releases oxygen throughout its lifetime. This carbon uptake is enhanced during the cork oak’s ‘bare period’, i.e. while it regenerates its bark over the next (approx.) nine years. The tree is not felled, but the bark is removed at nine-year intervals throughout the tree’s (approx.) 200-year lifetime.
Check out Wave and Touro, our two bentwood chairs with a top cork layer
At minding, we love working with cork and it is one of our missions to popularize the usage of it. Here you find 8 reasons why:
No. 1. Long-lasting and durable
Cork is one of the most durable organic substances available. It hardly ages and won’t lose its properties, even after many years. To give you a perspective on how durable the cork can be is worth mentioning that it has been used in NASA’s space shuttle Columbia to insulate the tank’s storage center for the liquid hydrogen and oxygen used to power the engine. So it’s safe to say that things made from this material should last for years and years.
No. 2 Easy to use
The material sits well on uneven surfaces, as the shape adapts to its surroundings. Cork also has good adhesive properties and is therefore easy to adhere to many surfaces. Therefore, it can be a perfect solution for an armchair or sofa cover as well as a final touch-up on parts of walls, even those not fully straight.
No. 3 Bio-degradable
Cork biodegrades completely and can be easily recycled without producing any toxic residues. This makes it a unique eco-friendly material.
No. 4 Elastic, compressible and resilient
The cell membranes of the cork are extremely elastic, which means that they can compress and flex under pressure. After the pressure is removed, they will return to their original shape due to their “elastic memory” which enables them to adapt to variations in temperature and pressure. All of this because of the air in between the cork cells – sometimes more than 50%!
Besides its flexibility, it is also light and difficult to burn due to its poor conductivity.
No. 5 Sound-absorbing
Due to its specific structure, the cork absorbs sound waves and vibrations – between 30% and 70% of sounds from 400 to 4000Hz. This makes it very suitable for the common working space – not only as a stylish accent but practical as well.
No. 6 Hypoallergenic and antistatic
Cork does not collect static electricity, nor does it attract or absorb dust. This makes it exceptionally easy to clean.
Using cork can also limit contact with allergens for asthmatics and those who suffer from allergies. In addition, cork does not cause any kind of allergy, even when it is in direct contact with the skin.
The unique material also has a neutral odor and does not absorb other odors. Its own smell is slightly sweet, but not in an intrusive way.
No. 7 Soft to the touch
Cork is very soft to the touch. With a normal temperature very close to that of the human body, cork emits a sense of comfort that is hard to replicate with any other material.
Due to its low heat conduction, cork also always feels nice to touch, as it neither absorbs nor radiates heat to our bodies.
No. 8 Comes in a myriad of colors and patterns
As you have learned about cork above, it shouldn’t be a surprise that cork also comes in many different forms that can be dyed and printed on.
This gives you countless options for the interior décor as well as a top layer of any furniture piece.