What is cork?

Cork is a material made from the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus Suber, if you’re feeling fancy). The bark of the tree is usually processed and used to make other products, such as tableware, yoga bricks, and fashion accessories. Some products use natural, unprocessed cork.
Where does cork come from?

The country with the most cork is Portugal. While it only accounts for approximately 34% of the cork trees (by the square footage of land), it manufactures almost 50% of the cork worldwide, and is therefore known is the cork capital of the world. Our products are all imported directly from Portugal, because after 70 years of dealing with cork, we know that’s where the best quality cork comes from. We not only sell the cork we import, we also use it to make other great new products. 
Why is using cork products better than using wooden products?

Both cork products and wooden products are made of natural, biodegradable materials and are therefore better for the environment than many of the synthetic alternatives. However, unlike wooden products, there is no need to cut down the tree to manufacture cork! The cork bark is peeled off and it renews itself every 9 years or so, and keeps renewing itself until the tree dies at the ripe old age of 150-200 years! That makes cork one of the most eco-friendly materials available.
What kinds of products can be made of cork?

Most of us are familiar with the “regular” products – cork stoppers in wine bottles and memo boards. But cork today can (and is!) used for so much more. It is used today in interior decorating with cork wall tiles, there are yoga mats and bricks, cork accessories, and tableware. 
What are the advantages of using cork?

In addition to being very environmentally friendly, cork has other advantages. For example, using cork yoga bricks means using a material that’s more environmentally friendly than synthetic alternatives, but maintains the slight flexibility that wooden bricks lack. Cork is also very lightweight and easy to clean (always a plus!).
What are the disadvantages of using cork?

Cork is a natural, biodegradable material and as such, it won’t last as long as other synthetic materials. For example, cork will dry out if it is exposed to sunlight for extended periods so it’s important to minimize the exposure. Cork, while known for its flexibility, is also fragile and can break if not handled with care.
How should I care for my cork products?

The most important thing is to avoid too much direct sunlight and try to keep your products away from the air conditioning vent, which blows dry air and may dry out your cork. Cork can get wet but it’s best for it not to be submerged in water. If you need to clean your product, you can use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
How can cork be “vegan”?

The term “vegan” is most commonly associated with food, namely foods made without any animal by-products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. However, the term also relates to the broader sense of a lifestyle that refrains from the use of animal by-products, including leather and wool. Cork is used to make special cork fabric. These fabrics are soft, flexible, and durable, making them an excellent alternative to leather. It is used in accessories such as purses, wallets, hats, belts, and even umbrellas!
Have another question we missed? Feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can

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Choosing the Perfect Cork Lid

They say every pot has a lid. Well – every jar can have a cork lid!
Cork lids are an excellent solution for sealing jars, bottles or other containers. Cork is a natural material, and unlike other synthetic materials, it doesn’t emit chemical fumes. These fumes, aside from being potentially dangerous, can also affect the smells and flavors of any food stored inside your container. Cork is nature’s gift to us, and has been in use for hundreds of years. In addition to the advantages of using a natural material, the color and texture of the cork can give your container a more rustic feel. The density of cork is such that while it seals the container well, it is still easy to take in and out. 

Speaking of density – that is the first thing we have to think bout when we are picking a lid. The coarser the cork granules are, the more resistant they are to water, and are therefore particularly good for long-term use with liquids (such as wines). The finer the granules are, the more elastic the cork is, so it is more suitable for lids that are in constant use, as they are easy to push in and take out.

If you’re using your cork lid for a jar or bottle containing liquids, you may choose to add a special lacquer to help create an even better seal, particularly if it’s a “long-term” seal. 
Our lids are suitable for jars, bottles, ceramic ware, terrariums, and more. It’s important to choose a lid that fits your opening well. When ordering online, you don’t have the option of trying out the lid. Therefore it’s important to measure the opening very carefully and pick a lid based on the diameters of the top and bottom of the lid. Our lids are about 4/5″-1″ thick. 
Ideally, you want your opening to be right in the middle, maybe slightly closer to the smaller diameter so you can press the lid in tightly, and still take it out. This is particularly true of ceramic ware, where the opening is not always a perfect circle and may need to rely a bit more on the cork’s elasticity for a good fit. 

Our factory is unique in that we make custom-sized lids. We make our lids carefully, one at a time, and with lots of love, using techniques passed down from generation to generation.  
Do you want a dose of inspiration? Nitzan Gilad, a talented ceramicist, used our cork lids for her incense holder, completing her beautiful, hand-crafted set. 

In addition to our custom-made lids, we also sell standard size stoppers in a variety of sizes. Another one of our customers (check her out on Facebook or Instagram – Charlotte’s Studio!) used these stoppers for the adorable house-shaped salt and pepper shakers! She even incorporated them into the design as a little chimney. These stoppers are excellent as sealers and are often used in the medical and pharmaceutical fields for test tubes and other laboratory equipment.

The sky is the limit! If you need a certain size lid, or have any other question, let us know and we’d be happy to help!

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Products made (with love) by us

At Nature’s Cork, we not only sell – we also create! Our factory has been around for over 70 years, passing down the tricks of the trade from generation to generation. When we see a sheet of cork – we see all the potential it contains, and we do our best to maximize that potential. We are constantly thinking of new, interesting, and useful items we can make.

Cork is so much more than wine stoppers and memo boards. At Nature’s Cork, we use all the unique qualities that cork possesses to create other products. Cork is used for thermal insulation – perfect for us to make cork trivets and cork coasters in all shapes and sizes. Rubberized cork is cork mixed with recycled rubber and has a certain “grippiness” that makes it just right for a mouse pad. We even use our cork fabric to make awesome bookmarks – a great gift for your favorite bookworm. 

We work with a large number of designers around the world, helping them incorporate cork into their work. This might be a cork lid, custom-made for a ceramic jar or for a terrarium, or it might a custom size cork block to be used for displaying items such as jewelry. The sky is the limit and nothing excites us more than a new idea 🙂

Do you have an idea and want to use cork to make it happen? Feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to assist and advise in any way we can to make your dream a reality.

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