As I mentioned in my previous comment, nettle cloth has grabbed my attention. Here’s a video/article that’s wonderful:



It seems the fiber shed movement is on the march!

5 Replies to “Nettle”

  1. Nettles are plants I have not seen in the US although they are plentiful in UK and the Continent. They gave rise to sayings such as “grasp the nettle” because is you lighly touch a stinging nettle it stings if you grab it hard it does not.

    For any of these movements to have any success in the US the throw away mentality and fundamental value system has to change. The “deal” has to be replace by “value”, cheap junk has to be replaced by longer lasting value items. All changes which go against the consumer based economics and society that exists today. It makes me cringe to hear that thrifty people are accused of having toxic wallets (because they will not open them). I’m sure we can all go on at length about the ills of the current system, we are in an election period and other then the “Occupiers” it’s becoming big business dominated as usual. How is this cycle to be broken?

  2. So true.
    My parents raised us with the values of thrift and non-consumerism.
    It was probably an outcome of being Depression babies.
    But it felt right and I never strayed from those principles and have had a happy life.
    Too many people have opted for the “glamour” of money/things and don’t seem to be anywhere near a state of happiness.

    Paul Gilding was on On Point radio with Tom Ashbrook awhile back.
    He was a leader in the Greenpeace movement and has written a book called The Great Disruption. He basically believes we’ve gone to far with our excesses and that we’re going to have no choice but to change our throw-away culture.
    It would be a major readjustment to our present society but one I’d welcome.

    Here’s a link to that episode:

  3. One of the very interesting aspects if that in Europe the nettle is a weed. A parallel here would be to take a native, or imported, weed such as Kudzu and turn it into fibres. The article went into some interesting aspects of nettle fabric, that was interesting research. The article also touched on Flax, which is somewhat coarse and good for sack cloth. The way that the fibres were handled from nettles was glossed over, there’s probably a lot more processing involved. Any comments from the spinners amongst us? Anyone looked at some of the long stem plants and what it would take to make fibres from it and then characterise the fibres?


  4. It was interesting to see how the Himalayans used wood ash and white clay to process the nettle fibers (the Savage Design article).
    All the other pieces mention retting, which is the way flax is handled.
    Perhaps the indigenous people know how to speed things up!

    Experimenting is great fun.

  5. Kathie, thank you so much for posting these links. I am once again wishing I had more than .08 acres of land. I think it would be an interesting experiment to actually create spun threads/yarn from a plant like flax or nettle. Has anyone done this? Even if only a small amount of spun material is created, experiencing the process in its most basic form would certainly be informative and likely give one a newfound appreciation for the effort required.

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