In Loving Memory of Dr. Linda Row

1958 – 2022

Dr. Linda Row

Our wonderful friend and colleague, who will be sadly missed.

Dr Linda Row, or Loulou as we knew her, was intelligent, funny and creative but overall, she was thoughtful and considered. She’d bring a different angle to the conversation and encouraged you to view your work, and the world, differently, and nothing was too much of an obstacle. She had a passion for sustainable, local, slow fashion and textiles, always researching, improving and learning new skills in the textile design process, including natural dyeing and printing, weaving, spinning and processing flax; ultimately going back to the earth, growing flax and natural dye stuffs.

Loulou was always very generous in sharing her knowledge and we were lucky to have a front row seat into her ground-breaking research. In 2014 Loulou embarked on a PhD at Manchester Fashion Institute, at Manchester Metropolitan University to research her long-time interest in using passive smart textiles1 to reduce the effect of non-ionising radiation from mobile phones and Wi-Fi on human health. Loulou started with using copper in embroidery, to using crystals, even commissioning a yarn containing minerals, and then ingeniously using the natural copper in mushrooms. We were impressed with her creative problem solving, how she overcame any setbacks and worked so incredibly hard, and so overjoyed for her when she found out she had finally been awarded her Doctorate.

Desiree Jeans, Penny Wheeler and Tabitha Stewart all met Loulou in 2011 when Desiree and Loulou started an MA in Textiles at Bath Spa University, and Penny and Tabitha were half-way through their part-time MAs. Desiree and Loulou spent a lot of time in the studio together and relaxing afterwards.

‘We would often meet at the Bell Inn in Bath to enjoy the live music, have a few drinks and put the world to rights – I always came away from these evenings feeling inspired and invigorated. Along with her ground-breaking research, these are the things I’ll remember about Loulou, with her cheeky grin and trademark slick of red lipstick.’

Desiree Jeans

‘Loulou and I had many lively discussions on our lift share to Corsham Court for MA lectures- she was on a one year programme and I was two years part time. We found we had plenty in common, both coming from fashion backgrounds in London and having similar aged children.  Coincidentally, we discovered that her daughter and my son both lived in the same room in the same student house 2 years apart when they were studying at Brighton University. We often chatted about how creativity and sustainability were so important for future generations and our role in setting examples. Our paths were destined to cross at some time. 

She was kind, generous, mischievous and funny and had her own distinctive style. Her passion for textiles and her love for her family always shone through.

I feel privileged to have known her and cherish the time I spent with her and all I learnt from her then and with seam ventures.’

Joy Merron
seam meeting with clockwise from bottom left Gill Hewitt, Desiree Jeans, Penny Wheeler, Julie Heaton, Anna Glasbrook, Linda Row and Joy Merron Photo: John Hewitt

We founded seam in late 2012 after gaining our MAs – we loved working in the same space together, sharing ideas and inspiration, and wanted to keep going! Loulou always volunteered for whatever needed doing in seam – she was Secretary, Treasurer, looked after the website, curated shows and designed the shift dress pattern for our shiftWorks exhibition. She was also very supportive to everyone in seam individually.

‘When I joined seam, I was a new graduate – Loulou made me feel very welcome – reassuring words, an interest in my work and an openness about hers. Loulou was kind, compassionate and inspiring. 

But of particular significance was her offer of advice on health concerns. Loulou would take time to research particular health concerns. If she didn’t have the information to hand, she would follow up the conversation with in-depth emails. 

I loved working, exhibiting and sharing ideas with Loulou – I miss her and can’t believe that she is no longer with us.’

Julie Heaton
At the preview for the ‘Extremely Textiles’ exhibition, from left: Julie Heaton, Gill Hewitt, Linda Row, Angie Parker, Penny Wheeler, Desiree Jeans and Kate Bond

‘It has been a privilege to know Loulou. She was such a gentle, intelligent lady, oozing with talent and passion for textiles. I loved hearing her exciting, vibrant tales from the time she lived in London, and the giggle that accompanied such stories. Such a cheeky giggle and beautiful smile.’

Angie Parker

Loulou always included her latest research and new skills in the work that she exhibited. For shiftWorks she was inspired by rose quartz, experimented with wax-resist, natural dyes and eco-resin. For Extremely Textiles she used mushrooms as a natural dye and for A Visible THREAD she created Flaxed Jacket couching with her hand-spun flax. After working on Arts Council funding for shiftWorks and other projects with seam, Loulou created her own Arts Council funded project Foraged Colour inviting Penny Wheeler and Gill Hewitt from seam, her daughter Eve and Frances Westerduin to take part. Foraged Colour was a step towards Loulou’s vision of how contemporary fashion could become a closed-loop, sustainable, slow fashion industry using locally grown and foraged materials for dyeing and yarn, and utilising local production. 

‘When Loulou invited me to join her working on the ‘Foraged Colour‘ project before lockdown, I was delighted to accept. I went over to work with her on several occasions, preparing a beautiful range of natural dyes for yarns and fabric from all sorts of sources such as walnuts (which she had soaking in barrels in the garden and to her horror included the odd dead mouse!), apple tree bark, eucalyptus etc. You name it and if it was natural Loulou had tried to make dye with it. It was very intense but thoroughly enjoyable and I will always fondly remember those times.

I produced the textiles for the ‘Foraged Colour‘ coat during lockdown making more dyes from what I had learnt from Loulou. There was no waste as the textile was made exactly for the pattern pieces designed by Loulou. After lockdown Loulou sewed the pieces together to make the coat for the exhibition.

She was an extremely talented and principled designer/maker/artist and we enjoyed working together. I went on to work on ‘Foraged Prints‘ with her after this.

When we moved to Cornwall we kept in touch and Loulou and her partner Amrit came to stay with us. It was always great fun spending time together and I have happy memories of visiting standing stones and ancient monuments with them. She had an infectious enthusiasm, energy and vitality. I miss her so much.’

Gill Hewitt

‘Loulou had a compelling enthusiasm for making textiles, textile processes and clothing, sustainable and local. I learnt such a lot working with her in seam and on ‘Foraged Colour‘, and have become a convert! I really admired her passion, determination, creativity and commitment to learning new skills, whilst at the same time being so friendly, unassuming and supportive. I wished we had worked together more closely on the ‘Foraged Colour‘ project, but we were interrupted by lockdown. Our collaboration had to become even slower, sending hand-made shade cards and hand-dyed yarns back and forth by post.’ 

Penny Wheeler

We are all devastated that we can’t have any more conversations with her and see how her exciting plans for the future turned out. She’s such a massive loss to the world. Our heartfelt thoughts are with her beloved family, husband Amrit, and their children Louis and Eve.

seam collective


Most of the links in this piece are to Loulou’s writing for our blog; there is a full list of her blog posts and posts including her work here.

You can find out more about Loulou’s life outside of seam in her obituary in the Guardian written by her husband Amrit.

You will still be able to see Loulou’s Flaxed Jacket as part of the A Visible THREAD exhibition tour (new dates and venues coming soon). 

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  1. When a textile assumes an additional function over and above the conventional purpose, it may be regarded as a smart textile. See Smart Textile by Nitin Ajmera on