• Cork and Interior Design

Cork and Interior Design

Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak. Portugal, which accounts for approx. half of the world's cork production, has since the 13th century had a law protecting the prehistoric oak tree from extinction. The cork is extracted by peeling the bark from the tree every nine years. Since the harvest thus takes place without felling the tree, the cork oak will continuously throughout its entire life cycle of approx. 200 years capture and store large amounts of CO2. It is particularly interesting that the cork oak during the regeneration after the harvest increases the CO2 absorption fivefold. So in fact cork production puts a kind of turbo on cork's natural contribution to reducing global warming.

Three processings of cork

Overall, there are three types of cork: Virgin cork is the innermost unprocessed layer of the bark, which is used, for example, for wine stoppers. The second type of cork is composite materials with a mixed binder. Used, for example, for coasters and notice boards. The third type of cork - and the one we love to turn into products here at Grape - is produced by steam-pressing a granule of the cork's outer bark with steam at 350 degrees. A process that releases the cork's own binding agent, Suberin, and transforms the cork into a homogeneous block with a fine sphagnum brown glow - completely without additives. The block is subsequently cut into plates from 10 mm in thickness or milled into shapes.

Properties of cork

The cork is made up of a microscopic structure of prism-shaped cells. A single cubic centimeter of cork contains almost 40 million of the kind! Each cell is essentially made of Suberin and secondarily lignin, polysaccharides, ceroids and tannin. But what gives the cork its special properties is the cells' content of a harmless gas very similar to the surrounding air. The complex structure gives cork its physical properties such as lightness, elasticity, compressibility, good acoustic properties and long durability. The cork also burns very poorly and does not release any dangerous substances. All good properties in relation to furnishings.

Three Grapes made with cork

At Grape, we believe that the spagnum brown cork is one of the world's most beautiful and sympathetic materials that you can use in an interior design. Therefore, it is also a source of inspiration for developing products such as Grape Cozy (telephone box), Grape Space (screen wall) and Grape Random (decorative acoustic wall covering). Click on the related products and learn more about the three Grapes.


If you like to see, hear, feel and smell products made with cork? Then this is an open invitation to come by our studio in Copenhagen's Northwest. As we do not have fixed opening hours, it is best that you call or write in advance. And yes - of course you are welcome to bring your colleagues with you.