Seaweed is a wonder material with a variety of uses all over the world, including it being used for its health benefits. But now we are beginning to see seaweed incorporated into clothes. Not only does this a natural alternative to some fibres and textile accessories, it is one of the most sustainable materials to use as some species can grow almost six inches a day. This, paired with the beauty of seaweed’s colour and texture, is why textile artist Jasmine Linington uses it in a variety of ways for her beautiful clothing pieces.
Jasmine Linington is based in Edinburgh where she also collects seaweed, and makes garments from the plant. While studying for her Master of Fine Arts degree at Edinburgh College of Art Jasmine began exploring the potential of seaweed in textiles. Her aim was to find more sustainable alternatives for the polluting industry, to showcase what is available to use. Jasmine holds a licence from the Scottish Natural Heritage and East Lothian Council, to mindfully hand harvest a variety of seaweed species off the Lothian coastline. She then takes these back to her studio to create natural dyes and unique embellishments for her textiles.
As her pieces have a focus on tactility they showcase the variety of ways seaweed can be used, while also engaging people in the process. Jasmine has an explorative approach to her practice which has meant that she has been able to discover new innovative ways to use seaweed. The basis to many of her pieces is SeaCell. This soft fibre is made by crushing seaweed into cellulose fibres using nanotechnology and mixed with eucalyptus cellulose. Jasmine uses this to create her material though a variety of textile techniques. The final material is light in colour meaning it is perfect for dying. But Jasmine also uses seaweed to give colour to her garments as a number of colours can be created using different techniques, and by using different seaweed species. Most of her embellishments are made from by-products of the seaweed harvesting process, specifically from kelp. The kelp sequin feels like leather but is completely biodegradable, and made using Jasmine’s own technique.