Where Does Cork Come From?

By 23/09/2021Latest News

As suppliers of a cork-based render for interior wall coatings, external render and industrial roofing, it’s fair to say we’re advocates of the natural power of cork.

If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you’ll be well aware of its thermal, acoustic and flexible qualities. But where does cork actually come from?

In this post, we’ll answer exactly that to show just how eco-friendly cork really is, and where its natural qualities come from.

Where does cork come from originally?

Cork material develops naturally in the bark of cork oak trees – or Quercus suber to use their Latin name. The cork itself is harvested by carefully stripping the bark from the trees, before separating the cork from the rough outer layer of the bark.

Cork oak trees can have their bark stripped once they are fully mature – approximately 25 years old. But most importantly, they don’t need to be felled to harvest the cork. As long as the process is completed carefully, the cork-rich bark will regrow over the course of 8-14 years.

Even better, the cork-stripping process actually absorbs carbon dioxide – so it’s both sustainable and carbon negative.

Where in the world does cork come from?

In terms of geography, cork predominantly comes from Mediterranean countries, like Portugal and Spain, which account for the vast majority of global cork production. Cork oak trees can also be found in Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and France.

Interestingly, understanding where cork comes from can explain many of its natural qualities too. While most trees have some amount of cork in their bark, cork oak trees have an especially thick layer, which enabled them to survive the extreme heat and drought of their Mediterranean environment.

As a result, it has a number of impressive properties, including thermal insulation, fire resistance and high durability. Its unique low-density composition with suberin cells also lends itself to sound insulation, flexibility and impermeability.

How is cork used?

The natural qualities listed above make cork a highly useful material for a range of applications. No doubt the most familiar will be as a stopper for various beverages, including wine, which accounts for 60% of all cork production.

However, some lesser-known uses have included shuttlecocks for badminton, gaskets for car engines, floor and wall tiles, and even buoyant fishing floats. Last, but certainly not least, is our powerful cork-based render, which can be used on walls and roofs for waterproofing, thermal insulation and a range of other benefits.

Put cork to the test

Cork is a completely unique material, which provides an impressive, inimitable base for our natural cork render – SprayCork. With all of the qualities listed above, it’s no wonder so many people want to use SprayCork on their own domestic and commercial buildings.

To maintain the highest standards, SprayCork is only available through our network of approved applicators. Each contractor has been trained and tested in the application of SprayCork, so their customers can reap the rewards from cork’s natural properties.

Use our online contact form to tell us about your project, and we’ll put you in touch with one of our local approved applicators.

Jamie Orr

Author Jamie Orr

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