Cork Souvenir Products Made in Portugal
The range of cork souvenir products made in Portugal is amazing! I was very fascinated with corks during my childhood days. They were used to seal some bottles and I used to collect them for some science experiments but ended up making little boats with them. I always wondered then what kind of a tree would have such light bark!
Cork souvenir products made in Portugal
Fast forward life and I got the opportunity to visit land of cork trees! Evora in Portugal was like that. This time my younger daughter recollected her science notes on cork. “Sound and heat insulators, they also absorb pressure and shocks. There is no other natural material which combines the same characteristics as cork does.” She was awe struck that cork could be made into various useful products.
The world uses cork for wine bottle stoppers, the student community uses cork for science experiments, but here in Evora every useful product that can be imagined was made of cork. And for the rest of the travel I kept seeing cork souvenir products made in Portugal. From tiniest of purse to human size jacket, you name it you will find it made of cork. A huge hand bag; my daughter and me, we took turns in picking it up to see how light it weighed!
Unique feature of harvesting oak is the process of extracting the bark. It is not fully mechanized and lot of human labor is required. Wiki mentions: Usually five people are required to harvest the tree’s bark, using a small axe. The process requires training due to the skill required to harvest bark without harming the tree. The European cork industry produces 300,000 tonnes of cork a year, with a value of €1.5 billion and employing 30,000 people. Wine corks represent 15% of usage by weight but 66% of revenues.