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The Seaweed Girl Project 


The Seaweed Girl Project 

It’s fascinating, the potential of seaweed. As a rapidly renewable macroalga growing in our oceans across the globe, seaweed and its abundance of species have for too long been kept out of the spotlight and underrated as a resource. This intriguing marine plant plays a vital role in stabilizing our oceans and climate, holds the broad potential for new innovative bio-materials, and recently CSIRO scientists in Australia have developed a seaweed-based feed for cattle that remarkably reduces their methane emissions, taking a step towards climate action. It is time to take seaweed seriously. 

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 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | Kelp Sequins

 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington

Discovering her own personal curiosity and fascination with seaweed whilst walking along the local Scottish shores, textile artist and maker Jasmine Linington recognized seaweed's innate possibilities and has been exploring various species of this abundant marine plant and its uses in the realms of textiles ever since.  


Progressing from a 2019 Edinburgh College of Art MFA student to establishing her own studio, Jasmine continues to explore the relationship between seaweed and the luxury textile industry through the creation of bespoke commissions and seaweed-based textile art and interior accessories. 


In conversation with RawAssembly from her studio in Edinburgh, Jasmine shares insight behind her ongoing journey exploring seaweed, the development of her innovative graduate couture collection, and optimism for a regenerative future as an emerging textile artist.  


 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | Studio Samples and Inspiration

Jasmine, can you tell us how and when your love of textiles first began? 

My love of textiles began pretty much instantly after I was introduced to the sewing machine by my art teacher. I was 14 years of age and studying Art as a GCSE subject. My whole GCSE practical work was created on the sewing machine and in fact my teacher taught me an embroidery technique which I have developed over the years. I use a version of this technique to create the fabrics I make today. 

How has your relationship with textiles and making evolved over the years?

My work falls into the ‘slow textile’ bracket of handmade and contemporary craft. I have taken the time to consider and reflect on my techniques and pieces and developed a style that I hope is seen as elegant, refined, inquisitive and original.

Making the decision to go back into further education to study for my MFA has been most beneficial and has given me the time and space to push the boundaries within my practice.

Post MFA - 2.5x1m wallhanging. Seaweed d
Post MFA - 2.5x1m wallhanging. Seaweed d

 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | Seaweed dyed yarn & Seaweed made sequins

What inspired your initial exploration into seaweed? 

I feel fortunate to have always lived near the coast. However, the initial exploration into seaweed didn’t start until I realized its beauty in 2014 (the final year of my BA textile degree). I happened to be strolling along the beach, pondering over what material I would use for a materials project and I simultaneously looked down to see an array of seaweeds in all shapes, colours, and sizes. I remember this moment so vividly! I was completely captivated by what I saw and have since used seaweed and its habitat as inspiration and latterly as a material. 

As a natural sequester of CO2 and the world’s most ubiquitous plant, I was intrigued to see how I could introduce this multifaceted material into my textiles and help remediate the negative effects we, as a society, have brought upon the planet. 

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 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | 

Can you tell us more about how you source seaweed for your textile work? 

I have a small-scale, hand-harvesting license which allows me to harvest both by hand, using scissors, and to gather cast seaweeds from three beaches along the south east coast of Scotland.  I am able to harvest up to 195kg per year of a variety of kelps, wracks, and other seaweed species, whilst harvesting responsibly and respecting the seaweed and its habitat. I am mindful to cut the seaweed at the appropriate length to enable re-growth, as well as spacing out my harvesting spots to avoid collecting in one area and negatively impacting its habitat. 

What has surprised you most about seaweed as you have explored new and inventive ways of using it?


I suppose I have come across many surprising things along my journey so far.  When beginning my MFA, I initially started exploring seaweed as a form of natural dye. The range of colour I have gained so far from seaweed is subtle, however, through these early stages of research, I began to appreciate that seaweeds come in a wonderful range of shades: browns, greens, and reds. This has been a surprise to me, simply because I had previously seen seaweed as bubbly, brown, and not much else. 


I also explored the possibilities of seaweed as an embellishment and discovered that kelp makes the most beautiful, natural embellishment, which was an exciting breakthrough for me.

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 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | MFA Graduate Collection ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’, Seaweed Beads 

 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | Studio

Can you tell us about your MFA graduate collection, the inspiration and process?

My MFA graduate collection, ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’, is a high-end collection of innovatively constructed textiles that showcases the versatility of seaweed as an alternative material within the textile industry. 

From creating my own (SeaCell) embroidered fabrics from SeaCell, to transforming seaweed into dyes and forms of embellishments, the collection looks towards seaweed as both a material and a form of visual inspiration. 


My intention was to create a collection of textiles that showcased seaweed and its beauty in a convincing and appealing way. I wanted it to celebrate seaweed in a way that appeared effortless and timeless, to allow the seaweed adornments and constructed fabrics to speak for themselves. 


The processes for each element of this collection are by no means quick, but I believe that this adds authenticity and quality to each individual piece. 


Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | MFA Graduate Collection ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’, Kelp Sequins on SeaCell 


Can you tell us more about your experience working with SeaCell fibre and do you spin that yourself or work with a local spinner to get the final yarn after you have dyed your perfect colour?

I love working with SeaCell fibre. It’s so soft and almost silk-like in touch and appearance. It dyes beautifully and has this gorgeous sheen to it.  


I buy the fibre direct from the German company Smartfibre AG, who manufacture the fibre, as well as from a local supplier. I turn the fibre into fabric in my studio using an unconventional construction method, involving embroidery. I use a supplier in Belgium who researches and creates beautiful yarns. I am currently working with one of their fibres that is made from kelp seaweed and is a by-product of the cosmetic industry.


Working with a local spinner is something that I have on my list of things to try in the future. I was lucky enough to gain some experience during the summer between my two MFA years with a spinning mill in Cornwall and I found the whole process fascinating.  



Image Credit - Jasmine Linington |MFA Graduate Collection ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’, Kelp Sequin Ripple

Can you tell us more about your natural dyeing process with Seaweed?

I am currently using bladder wrack as a basis for my seaweed dyes, using seawater during the mordanting and dyeing stages.  The colours are subtle and beautiful. 

What role do you see algae in its micro and macro forms such as seaweed play in the future of the textile and fashion industry?

Seaweed is a highly versatile material that can be developed into a diverse range of substances from dyes to fibres and embellishments, to name just a few. I believe it will play a huge role in regenerating the textile industry. 


Pacific giant kelp is known as the fastest growing plant on our planet, which makes macroalgae a highly suitable, sustainable and long-term solution for the future of textiles and fashion. 

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 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | MFA Graduate Collection ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’ featuring Kelp Sequins and SeaCell 

 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | MFA Graduate Collection ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’, SeaCell Embroidered Fabric

 MFA piece - Kelp sequins and seaweed co

 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | Kelp Sequins

Are there any innovators, researchers or designers also working with seaweed that you would love to collaborate with?

Violaine Buet is a textile designer who works with seaweed. Amongst many of her amazing innovations, she has been developing a range of vegetable dyes to dye seaweed. This looks utterly fascinating and beautiful. I would love to collaborate with her one day in this particular area.  

What is on the horizon for you?

Since graduating, I have worked on a number of textile art commissions for private clients, whilst developing a small collection of luxury cushions made with my SeaCell fibre fabric.  I am currently working on a collection of textile wall-hangings, embellished with naturally dyed yarn, as well as a series of framed pieces that I am embellishing with my kelp sequins and seaweed beads. 


I have a couple of exhibitions on the horizon in the near future, although these are yet to be announced.


What does a regenerative future look like to you?

Personally, and amongst the communities that I come across in my work life, I feel that the regenerative future looks bright and will bring out the best in us. I am optimistic that the values that really matter will shape the way we live and the choices we make, such as being kind and caring both to one another and to the environment, valuing and encouraging innovation and creativity.

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 Image Credit - Jasmine Linington | MFA Graduate Collection ‘The Seaweed Girl Project’, Kelp Sequins

References/ notes

View more of Jasmine's work. 



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