We’ve seen many uses for algae, but Dutch designer Nieke Hoogvliet takes the cake for coming up with one of the most unique designs we’ve seen. Using yarn made from kelp, Hoogvliet created a gorgeous green rug. The Sea Me algae rug demonstrates an environmentally friendly alternative to viscose production, and its fibers are even softer than commonly used materials.
The yarn was created from kelp harvested in South Africa. Spun irregularly, the material was processed so it creates a fabric which is thick in some places and thin in others. This way the final product looks more organic. In order to create the color gradient, the artist wrapped the yarn around a cone and dipped it in paint, which made the paint slolwy reach the fibers and create an interesting effect. Several shades of paint were used in order to get the perfect green color that is darker on the outside and lighter on the inside.
The design was presented at Dutch Design Week and it is the first time Hoogvliet experimented with algae. The designer stressed the potentials of aquatic organisms like seaweed for production of alternative textiles. With species like kelp, which can grow up to 30 meters long, we might be facing a future in which our clothes will be made from materials grown underwater.
Photos by Femke Poort