saltwater canvas heading 
Designers of Mesh Beach & Shower Bags & Beach Cabanas since 1991
A B O U T  U S
Saltwater Canvas started in 1991. We made small cotton beach cabanas for several years. We now manufacture 3 sizes of cabanas for families, resorts and beach rental shops from the North Carolina coast to windy Cape Cod beaches. Cabanas have been spotted in Italy, Saudi Arabia, Santiago, Chile, and all over the United States, with flocks on Martha's Vineyard, Nauset Beach, and the Chatham Bars Inn. When we began making the cabanas there was not the scare of the strong sun that we fact today. We made the cabana so people could enjoy the cool shade.
The cabana first started in the 1950s. My father was driving us to Popponesset Beach, Cape Cod for vacation. He swerfed off the road to go to a roadside stand where he bought our cabana for $50 - bright red, yellow and blue cotton canvas, with tassles, from Cuba. The cabana came to the Cape with us every summer, and became the hub of our beach activity.  It was in many of our family beach photos, one with only my brother's head coming out of the sand inside the cabana, and many more. It was where we ate, napped, and hid from the sun and wind. Our dog Bimi loved the shady cabana. When riding the waves, or after taking a long walk, we never got lost, because the cabana stood waiting for us. When we stopped going to the Cape, my father put the cabana up in the attic, where the years of sun and mold destroyed the cotton fabric.
When I had my children, I went shopping for a cabana, and could only find nylon pop up tent versions of what I remembered. 2 of us attempted to set one up on the beach. I went up to my parent's attic, brought the tattered canvas covered aluminum frame down, took off the old canvas, and hand sewed fabric to the frame. It looked kind of weird, but I used it for many years for my 2 boys. People often asked where I bought it. I began to see the need for a good beach cabana that would last for a generation, rather than a summer. I took this model to a machine shop, had the aluminum fabricated to fit modern day car trunks, and made a pattern for the cloth, and added pockets to help weigh the cabana down with sand (I remembered my father chasing after it a couple of times). Cotton canvas eventually became acrylic weatherproof canvas, to which we added colorful mesh windows, and the half inch frame became 7/8 inch  aluminum tubing; the model is the same, big or small. The cabanas come in 43", 64", and 84" sizes, last for a generation, and can be recovered too! We've only recovered one that had been eaten by a mouse.
We make our larger cabana frames out of marine grade aluminum, and we cut and bend it ourselves. We cover the frames with weather and waterproof Sunbrella fabric which is 98% sun protective, and sew in colored mesh screens to let wind in and out. We have added pockets to fill with sand or rocks to weigh down the cabana, especially on windy days, and to hold magazines and drinks. Cabanas have been spotted at the Chatham Bars Inn, Wequasset Inn, Block Island Concessions, Mattakesset Properties, the Winnetu, Liams Concessions on Nauset Beach, Lifesaver Rentalls on the North Carolina Outer Banks. We can boast that every one of these places has reordered additional cabanas. They are quite popular in windy areas because they can be weighted down so easily, where umbrellas can blow away and cause injury. They have been featured in Yankee Magazine, Boston Globe Hot Lines, Boston Globe At Home, Newsweek International, Child Magazine, Beverly Hills 213, Bay Area Parent, Hawaii Hospitality, LA Parent Magazine. The cabana prices are high. Divide the price by a generation of use and protection. 43" models - $275, 64" models - $460, 84" models - $760. Prices include shipping. We encourage people to pick them up, or we can arrange delivery, to cut costs. Our standard colors are pacific blue, navy blue, red, purple, gold, pine, teal, and pine and white stripes, pacific blue and white stripes, and two tone pacific blue stripes. Custom colors are available at no extra charge. For information, call Saltwater Canvas at 617-527-3094 or email us at
"A Saltwater Canvas cabana evokes the feeling of a different time and place ~ a Newport Beach in the 1920's or a seaside resort on the Riviera . . . an umbrella, a beach hut, and a wind and sun screen all in one ~ and it's stylish to boot . . . the cabana isn't cheap, but neither is a swank summer cottage." Boston Globe, Hot Lines

When I swam at the YMCA every morning,  I used plastic grocery bags to hold my shower stuff. They lasted for a week or two, and I always cringed when I had to grab my shampoo or soap - sometimes my shampoo leaked, my bottles were slimy and my razor was rusty. Who knows what was growing! If the plastic bag oozed, my gym bag got wet inside.  In 1998,  I was given an old clothespin bag from the 50's. It had potential for me. I patterned the bag and tried to make a shower bag using vinyl mesh from the cabana screens I make. It didn't stand up, it had to be hung, and had thorny seams I couldn't cover. I went to a canvas trade show where they sold webbing in great colors. I bought it up and married the webbing and mesh into a cylindrical mesh bag with pockets ~ the first real shower bag. The great thing about the shower bag was that I didn't have to cap my shampoo or conditioner any more - I could just put them in the pockets and they'd stay upright. My razor and comb stayed out of the fray and dry in their own little pocket. I could bring dental floss and toothpaste without them tasting like soap. The shower became the only place where I was organized! From shower to shower, my things were clean and dry. I could take it anywhere - it was always loaded with my shower stuff, from shampoo to razor to toothpaste, and ready to go. The bag hangs up, sits down, dries fast, and fits into any suitcase or gym bag.
The bag was a hit at our YMCA auction, and soon it was featured in the Boston Globe Shop Talk, Shape Magazine, Connecticut Life, and Coast to Coast Magazine. I realized from my orders that the bag was not only for showers after gym or pool workouts, but for showers at the college dorm, summer camp, campground, beach, outdoor cottage shower, cruise, boat, active duty, and it also doubled as a kiddie beach bag (holds a small towel and goes right into the water to hold crabs!), a reusable gift bag, and an unusual gift basket, which can hold flowers in a transparent peanut butter jar and fun shower items too. The bag has been used in large make-up and athletic club promotions, and is a hit at high school grad parties - filled with shampoos, soaps, lottery tickets, gift certificates and all their favorite things ~ for a special college send off. It is a nice gift filled with a membership card to a health club.
Requests for larger mesh bags have produced the pail beach bag, the dolphin bag, and our family sized whale beach bag. The "ocean bag" was actually too large, and we discontinued it.
All our cylindrical mesh bags are made out of the same indestructible, non fade outdoor furniture mesh, and sewn with unbreakable thread. The handles are nylon/polypropylene and resistant to the elements. The bags are waterproof and will not mildew.
"Tired of soapy shampoo bottles mucking up your gym bag? . . . shower bags are a cute, clever solution. These cylindrical bags feature external mesh pockets to keep items upright and accessible. A web handle means you can hang the bag in the shower, then simply shake it out and store it . . . these bags promise to endure longer than your gym membership." Shape Magazine
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Saltwater Canvas || 8 Bunny Circle, Newton, MA 02458 || 617-527-3094 || fax 617-795-1591