Nettle fibre extraction


I started nettle processing akin to flax processing, but only managed to produce very short fibers this  way. Birte Ford (Yarn from Wild Nettles) works happily with such short 'cottonised' fibers. 
However. following the scraping method Allan Brown features (Nettles for Textiles) I managed to also retrieve the long line fibers, that produce fine and more smooth yarn. This particular sample in the picture above is an experiment to process nettle green (not retting). Green nettle fibre is stinger then retted one, but the large amount of pectin in the fibre makes it a bit 'gunkier' to spin. 

Follow our experiments, musings and makings on our website 'NettlesForTextiles'
which is jointly run by Allan, me and the fiber researcher Gillian Edom.
Gillian has just published a revised edition of her book From Sting to Spin (2019).


Gillian was part of the research team STING at the De Montfort university, Leicester, who developed a nettle blend fabric range for Camira, a Yorkshire based fabric manufacturer. Their Nettle Collection fabric won the Queens award for sustainability for it - twice!