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Sail Upcycling

Sail Upcycling

If you have ever looked across Sydney Harbour on a sunny day and marvelled at her incredible beauty, chances are that there would have been countless yachts of all sizes, with sails aloft in that picture. I should just say that Melbourne, on a sunny day with yachts racing out front of St Kilda is equally beautiful, just different. (Even as that sounds like I am rushing to cover off that I love all my children equally, when one is patently more classically beautiful than the other.)

The real story about either view is the incredible number of sails on the horizon. Have you ever wondered what happens to all those sails when they run out of puff?

Not much to be frank.

But that is changing. And some really interesting businesses are emerging in the Sail Salvage space - and fortuitously, among them are experienced designers, who are setting the standard for quality. 

Among the sail salvagers are designer, Gabriele Jordan, who teamed up with her daughter to form Nanu in Sydney. Also from Sydney, in Manly are Scott and Sophie Sparks from Sailormade who started in 2014 with lots of Ssss.  And in Tasmania, bags are created from sails by the parents of Peregrine Community School, Afloat by Peregrine

If you are a sail recycler, we'd love to hear from you. Simply add a note to the Discussion below or Contact Us

​Pics from top: Unsplash - Andrew Neel & Jaspen Ven | Sailormade

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Science Notes
Sail fabrics these days are very high tech, although most garden variety sails are made from (Dacron) polyester.  

Polyester started to replace linen and cotton about 40 years ago because of its good strength, durability and lower stretch. It is also cheap.

Dependent upon what and where sails are used, there are now a huge range of materials including Kevlar, which is the most common fabric used in racing sails.

The problem with all these fabrics of course is that if they end up in landfill, they don't break down.  So upcycling is extremely important.
Related Tip
One of the big problems with sail recycling is also it's opportunity. Sails are typically big - some very very big. Which means that storage is a problem. But also means that plenty of bags, bunting and bins can be made out of one sail.