« 2011 the cork oak was designated as the National tree of Portugal.»

Cork is a natural material, vegetable in origin, which has unique properties. It is derived from the bark of the cork oak, a tree that occupies around 730,000 hectares of Portuguese soil.

The process whereby the bark is removed from the cork oak is known as stripping. The first extraction is known as the desboia, the result of which is a virgin form of cork, harder and irregular in nature. The first extraction only occurs when the tree reaches the age of 25 or 30, with subsequent extractions taking place every 9 years.

The only tool used in this process is the axe. Professionals carrying out the extraction make precise cuts in the tree in order to remove the bark without damaging the trunk. This is a delicate task requiring a lot of skill, and is carried out between the months of May and August.


Main characteristics of cork

  • Light
  • Elastic
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent thermal and acoustic insulator
  • Natural fire retardant
  • High resistance to friction
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Smooth to the touch