Is seaweed clothing the future of medicinal fashions?


Kelpie fashions? (MoMo Productions/Riser/Getty)

By all that is holy! What is that green, dripping monstrosity emerging from the seaside muck? Hide the children! Fetch fire and pitchforks!

Oh wait, it's just a local decked out in the latest seaweed-based, skin-healthy fashions. Put down the weapons and let me explain.

According to Scotland's STV website, Highland knitwear crafter Anna Skea has taken to incorporating seaweed in the wood pulp she uses to make fabric. Skea has specialized in creating fashionable coats, tunics, tangles and gloves from local materials for more than 30 years, but her use of seaweed introduces the potential for medicinal clothing items that actually treat rather than irritate afflicted skin. In fact, Skea herself suffers from psoriasis.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of clothing that heals or alleviates pain before. Shopping for clothes is generally more of an exercise in minimizing discomfort, isn't it? And of course based on Skea's website, we're not actually talking about draping naked bodies in kelp or dressing up like tide monsters. You'd never guess this stuff was made from materials that include seaweed.

STV included this video about the health benefits of seaweed. Watch and enjoy charming Scott accents and much contemplation on which mustard goes best with these leafy greens.

So there you have it! You can find the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast on iTunes, Zune and the RSS feed. And don't forget the free HowStuffWorks App!

Thanks to Katie Lambert for bringing this to my attention, and crafty Becky & Lori for their two cents!

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About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.