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What is cork fiber?

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Cork is a natural material which was used by men for over 5000 years. Around 3000 B.C. people belonging to China, Egypt, Babylon, and Persia used cork for sealing containers, fishing equipment, and domestic applications. In ancient Greece, cork material was also used for making footwear. The medicinal property of Cork to treat hair loss was discovered by a Greek physician, Dioscorides in the second century A.C. Since the beginning of the 17th-century cork has been used as stoppers in wine bottles.

Cork is a waterproof light material extracted from a natural source i.e. bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus Upload). This oak tree is mainly found in regions of western medeterian i.n. the south-west of Europe and north-west of Africa which receives great sunlight, low rainfall and has relatively high humidity. These forests promote biodiversity by preventing desertification, helps in soil conservation, improving water penetration into the soil and hydrological regulation. Depending on the cultural region, the bark of the oak tree is removed periodically every 9-12 years once the cork layer reaches a minimum thickness.

Cork not only has a very unique appearance and feel but also has high elasticity and fire-resistant properties. Cork oak tree is mainly cultivated in Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). Harvesting raw oak is actually an eco-friendly process because cork is harvested only from the bark of the cork oak tree and it does not involve cutting down any trees. Moreover, cork can be harvested from only those forests which are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified which means buying a product from these forests won’t harm the forest in any way.

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