DVELAS was created by architect and sailing enthusiast Enrique Kahle, who founded a company which designs and manufactures contemporary furniture from upcycled sails in Pamplona in 2009. After hundreds of adventures at sea, sails are reused and turned into original loungers, armchairs, poufs, seating, tables and hangers, which come in limited editions, labelled with the data of origin of each upcycled sail.
The idea arose as a creative response to the large amount of discarded material from the sailing industry which is no longer suitable for use at sea but has the ideal durability and resistance to be reworked as furniture.
The models in the collections make use of plastic from the sails and draw inspiration for the design from rigging techniques, technology and the know-how of professional sailmakers. The materials retrieved are use as covers or upholstery, working in the same way as when they were used for sailing, giving the sail back its dignity, after it has been separated out into its component parts.
A limited number of pieces are made from each sail selected by the company for their “Limited Editions”. Some sails or parts have special aesthetic attributes (including brand names, manufacture logos, numbers and colours) which make them that bit different. These specially selected items are used to enhance the company’s exclusive “Unique Editions”.
DVELAS enable customers to customise their furniture with their chosen text or brand, printed on the fabric or carved on to wood. The company also adapts their furniture to fit particular locations and studies new bespoke designs for customised projects
The design team comprises architects Enrique and Esperanza Kahle, designer Arraitz Koch and sailmaker Borja Fuentes. The brand also teams up with other artists and designers on special projects and one-off editions.
Over the years, the company has produced many designs for furniture and other objects, including bestsellers like their pouf collection “Génois”, their expressive floating lounger “Vaurien” and folding furniture family “Marine Plywood & Sails program”, giving a sophisticated twist to traditional beach furniture. They also offer made-to-measure sails for major contract projects and private residences. Last year, they produced a large shading installation in the La Mer mall in Dubai, providing shade for the 10,000sqm central area.
Another feat the company pulled off was their official sponsorship of the Turn-the-Tide-on-Plastic team at the Volvo Ocean Race, supplying furniture for the team base in two villages. The initiative led to a new furniture line made from sails used in this prestigious regatta.
DVELAS exports 73% of its turnover, with the USA, Japan and Switzerland its main markets. In 2017, they made their first appearance at ICFF New York, where they won the ICFF’s EDITORS’ AWARD for the best outdoor product.