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Cork Products, Portugal


To the untrained eye what you see in the above photo looks like a selection of shoes you'd find in many store windows.  These are not your usual shoes.  They are not made of leather or suede or even a synthetic fabric.  They are actually made of cork -- compressed and worked to the point where it feels like soft leather.

(Cork shoes)

I'd never thought much about uses for cork outside of wine bottles or floats for commercial fishing nets.  The Portuguese, who grow and specialize in processing cork, have devised dozens of ways to use it -- shoes, purses, passport covers, trivets, toys, etc. etc.  You'll find lots of cork if you frequent souvenir shops (something I don't do).

P4224391(Cork purse)

You can see stands of cork -- a variant of oak -- trees growing in southern Portugal.  If you are interested and want to learn more about cork and its harvesting, click on this link.


Images (3)
  • cork shoes
  • details of a cork shoe
  • cork purse

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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