The first thing you might notice about cork fabric is the uniqueness of every piece. This is due to the corks unrepeated natural grain pattern revealed with every layer created. Cork is the bark of the noble oak tree 'Quercus Super', which has a life span of over 200 years. Cork oaks growing together are known as the 'Montado', a name devised in the 14th century to refer to the bio-diversity found in this environment. Every nine years this bark is extracted in an ancient and natural process that doesn’t cut or harm the tree. This is done entirely without machinery and relying solely on skilled human labour. Cork is a 100% natural, sustainable and recyclable material, with unmatched qualities that can be used in a myriad of forms, shapes and purposes. Cork has been used for everything from heat and cold insulation, to the nose of the space shuttle. Interestingly wine corks only account for 15% of usage. Every remnant of cork is utilised, from the remains of a sheet of cork after the corks have been punched out to the cork powder which is used to power the boilers needed to “cook” the cork bark before it can be processed. But the story of Cork doesn’t stop there…cork oak forests have an astonishing ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. It is estimated that it can absorb up to 14 million tons of CO2 per year. Cork forests also support many species of fauna and flora including threatened species such as the Iberian lynx. Cork forests sustain regional populations with employment, and in Portugal, there is a great deal of research and innovation currently occurring so that cork utilisation can be developed and shared worldwide.