How is Seaweed fabric made?

Seaweed fabric is made using Algae material from the sea. It was first discovered during the First World War when fabric manufacturers looked into experimenting with many different source materials. Although the first Seaweed fabric was produced at this time, the lack of commercial source of pure alginates meant that the yarns were irregular in dimensions and variable in properties. Within 10 years however, the production process had been improved with the introduction of a high grade Sodium Alginate, the chemical derived from kelp.

Seaweed Manufacture

The manufacturing process for seaweed is very similar to that of Viscose, but Seaweed is used instead of Wood Pulp. The cellulose in the plant is broken down using Amine acids and water. The chemical structure remains unchanged. One this pulp material had gone through the washing and retting process it can then be fed through a spinneret. This spinneret with have thousand of holes in it and with the allocation of pressure, a filament fibre will be produced. These filament fibres can be of varying thickness, depending on the applications they are required for.

These fibres can then be spun into yarns which can ultimately be woven or knitted into fabrics.

Another type of Seaweed fabric is ‘Seacell.’ This is made by combining the cellulose of Lyocell with a percentage of Seaweed. The lyocell component acts as a stabiliser for the Seawees and enhances all of the properties that it already boasts.

Properties of Seaweed Fabric

  • High Tenacity
  • Good performance fabrics
  • Contains metal ion which means it can screen electromagnetic waves
  • Boasts many health claims such as Stress Reduction, detoxification and the exchange of vitamins and minerals between the fibre and the skin
  • Soft
  • Breathable
  • Stimulating
  • Good affinity for dyes
  • High absorbancy
  • Sustainable
  • Stronger and more durable than cotton
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Flame Retardant
  • Biodegradable
  • Breathable

End uses of Seaweed

  • Cosmetics
  • Draperies
  • Safety clothing such as fire fighters uniforms
  • Furnishing Fabrics
  • Apparel with Health boosting properties
  • Wound Dressings
  • Organic fertiliser

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

One thought on “Seaweed

  1. Hi there Kelly ,

    Thank you for your helpful write up!

    Would you happen to know any companies around the world that produce fabrics out of seaweed?

    It’s proving difficult!

    Look forward to your reply!


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