Upcycled sailcloth is unique. Its marks and imperfections tell the tale of its former life on an ocean wave.  And now it has a new life as this beautiful handmade item. Sailed, Saved and Sewn for you with love from Devon.

Sailed –  We think old sails are beautiful, it can take a long time and many adventures to get them looking like they do. Whilst we do our best to remove any marks and imperfections picked up on the way, one or two still remain. We feel this adds to their beauty and makes them original.

Saved  – We try to use all of the sail…telltails, piston hanks, original sail numbers, class logo and insignias.  Sails are incredibly strong and durable but they are made from a synthetic man-made material which is not biodegradable.  Imagine what happens to them in a landfill, probably not a lot is the answer! So the more we upcycle, the less is dug into the ground…and if we can help to do our little bit, it makes us happy.

Sewn – We take pride in designing and hand-making each item in our sail loft studio on Topsham quay, Devon…the sail has completed its journey from the sea to our studio and is ready to start its new life as an original S&C item.  Will you be the one to take it on its next adventure?

How to recycle old sails?

Do you have any unwanted sails lurking in your garage or attic? Are they just gathering dust and taking up space? Not sure what to do with them! We upcycle old sails into beautiful new sailcloth home and lifestyle products.

old sails

Don't let your last fond sailing memories be taking your loved sail to a landfill site, where it will be dug underground probably never to be broken down. Sails are incredibly strong, durable and can withstand most things thrown at them. Imagine what happens to them underground, probably not a lot is the answer! Sails are made from a man made synthetic material which is ultimately why we use them, but they are not at all eco-friendly.

This is where we come in...we upcycle old sails! Bring your sail in to us or we can come collect your sail from you (if you're not too far away!!). We can pay cash or alternatively, we can upcycle your loved sail making them a wonderful reminder of the fantastic memories they you have had with it. Be it a sailcloth bag or a large sailcloth cushion.

Whether you're an individual, sailing club or sailmaker we would love to hear from you.

You can contact us directly at our workshop on 01392 877527 or email us at crew@sailsandcanvas.co.uk

What is the difference between Recycling and Upcycling?

Up-cycling is taking a product or waste material in its current state and turning it into something new and useful. Whereas with re-cycling you first need to break down or destroy the item then you make a new product from those broken down materials.

So for us when we upcycle sails that are have past their sail by date, and re purpose them into unique and useful everyday products. We try to minimise waste, using off cuts for our smaller items like bunting or phone cases whilst reusing all the hard and soft wear attached to a sail.

What we reuse:

Piston Hanks - We clean and oil these beautiful brass fittings and use them in our dog leads and key rings.

Rope - Used for trimming or general sail control, this is perfect for bag handles being extremely strong and usually come in funky colours!

Sailcloth - Our main bread and butter, we use upcycle sails from all different eras from the 1950's to the present day. We love to use Laser dinghy sails or any sail that has a little something about it. We utilise all the logos, sail numbers and even old repairs to make our bags unique.

Kevlar Sails - These super strong sails are amazing durable and pretty much water proof, we make bags and various other beautiful items from them.

Reefing points - On a sail these points are used to reduce the overall size of a sail, They are Used in our sailcloth bean bags and dog beds as "blow off" valves and in some of our sailcloth bags.

Tell tails - Is a piece of fabric or ribbon used as a guide whilst trimming a sail, these are recycled by us and used in all our products to add that nautical touch to our products.


How to wash sailcloth and care for it?

  • How to wash sailcloth products? - We get asked this all the time when selling our sailcloth products. Most of our sailcloth products can be put in a washing machine on a gentle 30 deg or cold wash cycle using a solution of Vanish on the stain first then a scoop in the wash. If possible set the spin cycle to a minimum so not to cause damage to stitching or cause dacron transfers to lift. Then leave to hang dry.
  • Storing sail cloth accessories - As with all fabric products, store in a dry place if your product gets wet hang dry. Most of our items can be used on the beach if they get sandy or salty give them a wash with warm soapy water and always allow to dry naturally.
  • Mould or Mildew - This is very unlikely to happen, but if you leave something outside long enough this may happen. Give the product a wash with warm soapy water or wash in a machine on a 30 deg gentle wash.
  • Stains - Most stains will wash off with soapy water and a stiff brush.

We think old sails are beautiful, and have taken a long time to get them looking like they do, but sometimes they just need a good wash!

Is it fireproof? - No, sail cloth is flammable so be careful NEVER to get it to close to a naked flame! We use flame retardant cushion pads in our cushions and fire retardant polystyrene beans inside a removable liner in our beanbags.

Is sail cloth waterproof? - Sail cloth is water resistant or splash proof but is not fully waterproof.

Are sails clean? - Every sail that we upcycle has been used in some way be it out in the ocean or just sailing around in the estuary. The history is documented by a sails markings these include a unique sail number, makers stamps and logos maybe some small marks. We wash each sail first in a 90 deg hot wash using Vanish by also using a solution of oxalic acid we try and remove most rust or oil marks.

Sails and Canvas, Topsham Devon creating fantastic sail cloth bags and sailcloth accessories from recycled sails, that have past their sail by date but still perfect to handmake wonderful items from. We can bespoke many sailcloth items such as sailcloth personalised suit cover personalised recycled sailcloth beanbags, personalised recycled sailcloth bags, upcycled personalised sailcloth cushions, recycled personalised sailcloth bottle bags, recycled personalised sailcloth bunting (perfect as wedding bunting or birthday bunting), sail cloth kit bags, sailcloth upcycled beachbags, recycled sail cloth shopping bags, upcycled sailcloth dog bed and we even make items from upcycled sail brass piston hanks personalised christmas stockings and many more items.