Sechrest Loves Cork

July 6, 2023

CORNELIUS, N.C.—Steve Sechrest is betting that cork is the next big thing in upholstery fabric at $3.25 per square foot and a substitute for leather.
The serial upholstered furniture entrepreneur is the sole cork distributor for Portugalia in the USA. He owned a furniture manufacturer in Australia called Koala Couch and now produces a furniture line called Cococo in the States.

“So far, we have been well received by the furniture industry in the States with no complaints. Eight companies featured Portugalia cork at the last U.S. furniture market in High Point.

The product qualifies at 100,000 double rubs on the Weisenbeek Test, making it great for contract use, he says, and “requires no adhesives to apply. There are 100’s of color options with 30 SKUs for the U.S. market alone. You can cut it with the grain or against it and different textures result,” he explains.

Cork fits into the new world of sustainability since the cork bark can be harvested for 200-300 years without harming the tree. There’s also an eight-year period between harvests where the tree is left alone so it can recover. Sechrest says no pesticides are used n the cork tree growth process. Andy Pacuk is the U.S. contact for Portugalia. Andy Pacuk

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