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Outdoor Furniture: Stylish Seating Made from Recycled Sailcloth in Spain

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Outdoor Furniture: Stylish Seating Made from Recycled Sailcloth in Spain

June 18, 2018

The idea of turning retired boat sails into sun shades, shower curtains, and other useful things initially blew me away. That was about five years ago. Many giant sail tote sightings later, the concept seemed gimmicky and questionable: did anyone need such unwieldy bags and were real sails actually being recycled?  That was until Francesca and I happened upon the Dvelas display at New York’s ICFF last month.

Led by architect Enrique Kahle, the Pamplona, Spain-based company has been turning old sails into inventive (if pricey) outdoor furniture since 2011. Each piece comes with a reassuring “traceability tag” noting the original port home, sail type, and number of the boat it came from. More important, the new uses for the material feel both timeless and fresh, perhaps because, as Kahle says, “sailing techniques and the intrinsic qualities of the sailcloth” are the inspiration, “as is, of course, the sea and its poetry.” Here’s their latest plus a few greatest hits, all shown on the Spanish coast. Dvelas, take us away.

The Butterfly chair&#8
Above: The Butterfly chair‘s nautical cousin: the Trimmer Club Chair, $1,600, is a combination of stitched sailcloth, powder-coated steel, and taut rope. The brass and rope Garrucho Hangers  in the background make use of recovered bronze carabiners—see the details in A New Storage System from the Sea.

All of the designs and specs are on the Dvelas site and available from retailers throughout Europe, Australia, and Japan. The US distributor is Couture Outdoor of Southampton, NY, which sells to the trade and the public (in cases where prices aren’t included here, inquire with Couture Outdoor directly).

 Cunningham Armchairs come in a black-stained and natural finish; $data-src=
Above: Cunningham Armchairs come in a black-stained and natural finish; $1,120 and $1,020. Like all of Dvelas’s wooden designs, they have foldable frames of marine plywood with sycamore support bars. The Dinghy Table A is from a just-launched line of birch plywood folding tables with tops of sailcloth hardened with fiberglass resin
The Crew Dining Chair is $650 in a natural finish. Dvelas washes all of its sails and re-waterproofs them before using them in their designs, which are all fabricated in their Pamplona workshop.
Above: The Crew Dining Chair is $650 in a natural finish. Dvelas washes all of its sails and re-waterproofs them before using them in their designs, which are all fabricated in their Pamplona workshop.
The collapsible—and easily portable—Coy Daybed, $data-src=
Above: The collapsible—and easily portable—Coy Daybed, $1,200, was inspired by sailor’s hammocks.
Ris Low Stools are $460 in natural and $480 in black. (There are also counter- and bar-stool versions of the Ris.)
Above: Ris Low Stools are $460 in natural and $480 in black. (There are also counter- and bar-stool versions of the Ris.)
The ingenious Fortuna design, $0, has a wooden support that sinks into the sand. When not in use, the sailcloth rolls up into a rope-tied package with the legs stored in the sleeve at the bottom.
Above: The ingenious Fortuna design, $290, has a wooden support that sinks into the sand. When not in use, the sailcloth rolls up into a rope-tied package with the legs stored in the sleeve at the bottom.
One of Dvelas&#8
Above: One of Dvelas’s greatest hits, the Vaurien Floating Lounger, $1,850, has an inner airbed and built-in sun protection courtesy of its fiberglass-enforced curved sail.

Have a sail you’re getting rid of? Dvelas is ready to talk. The company is also open to making custom designs and is currently working with the Volvo Ocean Cup Race’s Abu Dhabi sails.

Here are more clever uses for recycled sails:

Browse our archive for more Outdoor & Patio Furniture ideas.

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