January 28, 2020

Can seaweed be created into desirable textiles and contribute to a more environmentally friendly textile industry?

Jasmine Linington

TextilesSeaweed Girl, 2019

I have lived by the coast my whole life, witnessing the constant mass of tangled seaweed that more commonly than not, would be sidestepped and avoided. 6 years ago however, I found myself looking down, feeling this overwhelming fascination towards the beauty of seaweed. The colours, textures and vast array of species captured my inquisitive and creative mind. Given the devastating environmental impacts of the textile and fashion industry and learning that seaweed and microalgae make up approximately ninety per cent of Earth’s plant-like existence, I was motivated to explore the potential of seaweed as an alternative material for the textile industry. My ‘Seaweed Girl’ project, which started in 2017 when I began my Master of Fine Arts degree in textiles, explores seaweed’s potential as an alternative fibre, embellishment and dye. Using handmade methods and technology, I have created a collection of tactile textiles which showcase the beauty of seaweed. This collection specifically targets the couture womenswear market, however, I can see my work also falling into the interiors and artwork markets. I believe that seaweed, if respected and responsibly harvested, can become a positive and highly useful material to use as a natural, sustainable material for the textile industry.