The Sustainable Elegance of Cork: From Harvesting to Finishing

The Sustainable Elegance of Cork: From Harvesting to Finishing

Every marble platter or coaster that we handmake here at The Humble Hare is finished off with a cork backing. It's the perfect sustainable material for cushioning our marble platters and protecting your worktops, creating a luxurious finish for each and every piece.

Beyond its natural beauty, cork boasts a remarkable journey from the moment it is carefully harvested to the final finishing touches. We would love to share its journey with you, from cork tree to the marble platter that you hold in your hands! 

Harvesting: The Art of Cork Stripping

Cork harvesting is a meticulous process that involves stripping the outer bark of the cork oak tree by hand. This delicate operation occurs every 9 to 12 years, allowing the tree to reach maturity and ensuring sustainability. Only the outer bark is harvested, promoting the regeneration of bark and enabling multiple harvests over the oak's lifespan. These sustainable properties led us to choose cork for the backs our marble platters, pairing two beautiful, natural materials together.

Storing: Maturing the Cork Bark

After the harvesting phase, the cork bark is left to dry and mature for several months. This crucial step is essential for the development of the cork's key properties, including elasticity, durability, and resistance to moisture. The natural aging process contributes to the unique characteristics that set cork apart from other materials.

Cutting and Punching: Crafting Versatility

Following the maturation period, the cork bark is skilfully cut into manageable pieces and punched into specific shapes and sizes. The versatility of cork becomes apparent as different tools and machinery are employed to cater to a diverse range of products, from flooring and wall coverings to fashion accessories... to the backs for our marble platters!

Treatment: Enhancing Quality Through Heat and Pressure

To further refine the cork's properties, the punched pieces undergo treatment involving heat and pressure. This step removes any lingering moisture, enhancing elasticity and ensuring the cork is suitable to be used for its intended purpose. 

Finishing: Tailoring Cork to Perfection

The finishing touches to cork products can vary depending on their purpose. Sanding, polishing, and coating are common processes that help achieve the desired texture, appearance, and functionality. This customisation ensures that cork is visually appealing and suitable for a wide range of uses. The cork we use for our marble platters is treated with a sealant to protect it even further, making it wipe-clean and suitable for use in your kitchen.

Cork production is a testament to sustainability and craftsmanship. From the careful harvesting of cork oak trees to the meticulous finishing touches, each step in the process contributes to the creation of a remarkable eco-friendly material. It is for these reasons plus the beautiful, natural finish that it has become an integral material in the production of our marble platter collection!

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