Cork, the favourite material of the 1970’s, is making a comeback and not just as an effective way to seal a bottle of wine, instead it is becoming the go-to choice of material for architects and interior designers for both natural and eco-friendly design-led products.
Perfect by Nature
The most amazing, and true, fact about cork is that it really is one of the most highly renewable and eco-friendly resources to be found on our planet today. Cork, the bark of the Cork Oak Tree (Quercus suber L) is an all natural raw material, with unique properties which give it an unparalleled character from other materials. It is very light, compressible, has an elastic memory, impermeable to liquids and gases, provides both thermal and acoustic insulation, is fire retardant as well as highly abrasion-resistant, hypoallergenic, plus it is completely biodegradable, renewable and recyclable! Wow, now that is a lot characteristics for just one material!
Cork forests grow naturally in warm Western Mediterranean countries, with Portugal having the world’s largest cork oak forest area. The cork is harvested in an extremely controlled and strict manner called Stripping– no trees are cut down in this process! Stripping is the ancient process of extracting the bark of the cork oak – the cork. It is done by specialised professionals, using just a single tool: the axe, and takes place between the months of May and August. However the first stripping can only take place once the cork oak tree is 25 years old and has a trunk of a perimeter of 70 cm, measured 1.5 metres from the ground, plus subsequent stripping can only take place at intervals of at least 9 years, to allow the bark to fully grow back. Another interesting and fun fact is that it is only after the third round of stripping that the cork is fit for the manufacture of wine stoppers, so the first two harvests of cork are used for the production of other cork products such as insulation, flooring and decorative items. After stripping the planks of cork are left outside for at least six months to allow the cork to stabilise. Who knew that the process of harvesting cork (and all those wine stoppers!) was so complicated!
You can read more about the production process of cork here.
Environmental Plus Points
Cork Oak forests plays such a large part in the environment and eco-system that they are protected by law! By harvesting the cork you are actually keeping the cork forests alive. This is because regular stripping contributes to the cork oaks regenerating naturally. By self-regenerating, the cork oak tree also strengthens its ability to absorb carbon dioxide. A stripped cork oak absorbs, on average, five times more CO2 and it is estimates that every year cork oak forests retain up to 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – making it one of the biggest natural defences against climate change!
Bring Cork into your Home with Amorim
Here at homeArama, we are proud to be able to represent the homewares and design brand Amorim Cork.
So who are Amorim? Well simply they are the world’s biggest and most innovative producer of cork, from the ubiquitous cork wine stopper through to cork components for the space race, Amorim are leading the way. A family owned and run company based in Portugal, which accounts for 55% of the worlds cork production, Amorim’s mission is to “add value to the natural material of cork, in a competitive, differentiating and innovative manner, whilst in perfect harmony with Nature”.
As we have mentioned above the unique characteristics and versatility of as a material cork make its uses and possibilities endless!
Amorim have 3 different cork homeware brands in their collection:
Materia – This is the luxury end of the collection where renowned designers from Portugal and from around the world are challenged to design products that stretch the imagination, and to showcase cork as both a truly functional and a truly accessible material. The collection was designed by six Portuguese and four foreign designers and studios, each impressing their own distinctive creativity on their designs: BIG-GAME (CH), Daniel Caramelo (PT), Fernando Brízio (PT), Filipe Alarcão (PT), Inga Sempé (FR), Marco Sousa Santos (PT), Miguel Vieira Baptista (PT), Nendo (JP), Pedrita (PT), Raw Edges (IL/UK). From the fun lines such as Pino, the Voodoo Doll, to Rufo, the Drums through to practical lines such as Six, the Bottle Carrier, and Senta, the Stool.
1. Amorim Materia Pino Voodoo Doll Memo Board, £69 // 2. Amorim Materia Pinha Lamp, £119 // 3. Amorim Materia Senta Stool, £249 // 4. Amorim Materia Pinha Lamp, £119 // 5. Amorim Materia Rufo Drums, £119 each // 6. Amorim Materia Six Bottle Carrier, £126.65 // 7. Amorim Materia Aro Bowl in Grey, £149 // 8. Amorim Materia Torno Instant Shelf Bowls, £67.15 each // 9. Amorim Materia Furo Bowl/Centrepiece, £149 // 10. Amorim Materia Parte Bowl, £99 // 11. Amorim Materia Botes, £59 // 12. Amorim Materia Par Salt and Pepper Shakers, £69
Soul Mate – A down-to-earth range of products for the table combining ceramic and cork components to create a visually stunning and highly durable collection to grace any home. From plates to condiments to serving dishes everything you need to present your food and drinks in practical and natural style.
1. Amorim Soul Mate Check In Out Set of 3 Spice Jars, £39.95 // 2. Amorim Soul Mate The Whistler Set of 2 Bowls in Dark Grey, £17.96 // 3. Amorim Soul Mate Dressing Set of 2 Oil and Vinegar Cruet, £29.95 // 4. Amorim Soul Mate The Whistler Set of 2 Tea Cups in Pearl, £15.26 // 5. Amorim Soul Mate Rendezvous Cake Stands S,M,L in Pearl, £19.95 – £32.95 each // 6. Amorim Soul Mate Dressing Salad Bowl, £26.95 each // 7. Amorim Soul Mate The Whistler Tea Pot in Blue Teal, £25.16 // 8. Amorim Soul Mate Crispy Small Baker, £37.95 // 9. Amorim Soul Mate The Whistler Sugar Pot in Dark Grey, £11.66 // 10. Amorim Soul Mate The Whistler Set of 4 Espresso Cups in Blue Teal, £25.16 // 11. Amorim Soul Mate Check In Out Small Mixing Bowl in Pearl, £25.95 // 12. Amorim Soul Mate Dressing Set of 2 Salt and Pepper Shakers, £22.95
Korko – The basic daily use assortment produced to a budget whilst retaining the design and quality elements Amorim are proud to stand for. From the kitchen to the office there are products for all uses designed to do the job efficiently and with longevity. Cork is tough and these products prove it from the Keep Trays in 2 sizes to the Mr Butler bottle, or magazine wall mounted holder.
1. Amorim Korko Selection Keep It Cool Wine Cooler, £69.13 // 2. Amorim Korko Selection I Fill Apart Bowl, £22.95 // 3. Amorim Korko Selection Dupond & Dupont Hot Pot Stand, £12.95 // 4. Amorim Korko Selection Keep Traying Large Tray, £14.95 // 5. Amorim Korko Selection Mr Butler Bottle/Magazine Holder, £34.96 // 6. Amorim Korko Selection I Fill Fine Small Bowl, £32.95 // 7. Amorim Korko Selection Partners in Crime Cutting Board and Bowl, £39.95 // 8. Amorim Korko Selection Fit In Hot Pot Stand, £12.95 // 9. Amorim Korko Selection Dr House Desk Memo, £22.95
Check out the rest of our cork inspired products from our other exciting and innovative brands we have here at homeArama!
1. Royal VKB Bottle Island in Natural Cork, £16.95 // 2. Design Ideas Cork Voodoo Corkboard, £9.95 // 3. Design Ideas Set of 8 ToastIt Cork Coasters, £8.95 // 4. Kinto Bottlit Storage Canisters, available in 3 sizes, £14 – £23.25 // 5. Kinto Plump Teapot 150ml Heat Resistant Glass with Cork Stopper, £17.50 // 6. Design Ideas BrickWall Corkboard, £29.95 // 7. Design Ideas Cloud Cork Board, £17.95 // 8. Design Ideas Folio Tablet Cork Pouch, £11.95
We hope this post has inspired you to add some stylish and eco-friendly cork accessories into your home!
Thanks for reading 🙂