Is Cork the Designer Material of the Future?

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).  

Licensed under CC - credit Flickr user: Nicholas Erwin
Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Nicholas Erwin

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.

As prices of finite resources and materials continue to be volatile, commodities like cork are becoming a more attractive material for designers and companies to use in their products.

Source: Corkway Design

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Seb Egerton-Read

Seb Egerton-Read

Seb writes daily content for Circulate across the full spectrum of the website's topics. Previously he has spent five years as a freelance writer for a number of websites and blogs. You can e-mail Seb at seb[at]

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