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Cork, a natural rigid foam harvested from the bark of the cork oak, is distinguished by its light weight and pleasant tactile qualities. The robust, fire-resistant material varies in both colour and texture, so that every piece of furniture or accessory made from cork is a unique, one-of-a-kind object.

The life cycle of cork as a raw material begins with extraction of the cork oak bark. Harvesting takes place during the most active phase of cork growth, from mid-May or early June until mid-to-late August.

It takes 25 years for a cork oak trunk to start producing cork and become profitable, after which time the cork can be harvested every nine to twelve years. Each trunk first has to reach a circumference of about 70 cm when measured at breast height, approximately 1.3 metres above ground level. From then on, the cork can be harvested from the tree for an average duration of 150 years.

Vitra sources the recycled raw material for the Cork Family and Cork Bowls from Portuguese suppliers to ensure the highest quality. Only larger pieces of the coarsest-grained granulate will be used, which is an indicator of quality and also gives the cork products a more haptic feel and a unique lively pattern.


Durability and Maintenance

Due to the high quality of the raw material, natural cork is water- and stain-resistant. Like all Vitra products, cork furniture will last for many years under normal wear and tear. Cork can be cleaned by gently rubbing the surface with just a damp cloth and if necessary a very mild detergent.

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