Nettle Magic

The Wild Swans- Illustration IrenHorrors
Crush the nettles with your feet and you will have flax, 
which you must spin and weave into shirts 
of mail with long sleeves. 
Once you throw these over the bewitched wild swans,
 the spell over them is broken
The Wild Swans, Hans 
Christian Andersen Hersholt, J. (2015)

I believe that some of the magic fairy tales that put nettles at the centre of the story have to do that it seems magic that a humble weed like the nettle can create such magically soft and shiny fibre. In case you have not heard the tale, here is a summary: 

Summary of the Wild Swans

A princess and her 7 brothers are happy until the arrival of the wicked queen as their stepmother. She soon begins to mistreat the children, sending the princess into the country and transforming her brothers into swans, who fly away. The princess returns to the palace as a beautiful young woman who is so pure the wicked queen's spells have no effect on her. Even so, the wicked queen manages to spoil her stepdaughter's looks the king can't recognize her. She is turned out of the palace, whereupon she sets out to find her missing brothers. With some enchanted luck, she discovers where they live as swans by day and at night are allowed to resume their human form. They persuade the princess to allow them to carry her with them in a net across the sea to a distant land, where a mysterious lady reveals to her the way to undo the powerful spell on her brothers. The princess must weave 7 shirts of nettles and cannot speak a word until the task is done, or they will remain swans forever.

At once the princess sets to the task, though the nettles blister her delicate hands. A young king comes to hunt one day with his courtiers. As soon as he sees Elisa, he falls madly in love with her. Although she is mute, she is so beautiful he must have her for his queen. He bundles her up with him on his horse and orders the nettles and coats she had been working on be brought to the palace as well.

But the people suspect the princess of practicing witchcraft, and when she is unable to defend herself verbally, they persuade the young king her strange habit of gathering nettles and weaving them in the night is proof she is a witch. The princess works furiously to complete her task. She has completed all but one sleeve for the coat of her youngest brother when she is taken to be burned at the stake. At the last moment, the 7 royal swans fly to her rescue, and she throws a coat over each one, including the coat that is missing a sleeve. They turn from swans into princes once again, although the youngest brother has a swan's wing where the sleeve failed to cover him completely. Elisa finally declares her innocence and is saved.