And then there was the humble Nettle, so often despised for its sting. Nonetheless, it is a treasure. It can be used like Spinach, drank as a healing herbal tea, used for dyeing green and yellow, used in gardening as a pesticide and last but not least it creates fibre like Flax...
NETTLE FABRIC ~ Made from Himalayan Nettles, wild harvested in Nepal. This fabric is ethically made in Nepal, by a company that is supporting homemakers, women and families to receive a decent income and to enable them to work from home, rather than finding employment abroad.
In Europe, it used to be the linen for the poor. Cloisters and many other places devoted their time to the production of nettle yarn, nowadays pretty much forgotten and replaced by linen and cotton.
The Nepalian nettle, Girardinia diversifolia, grows up to 3m tall. There, the Nepalese still harvest and peel the nettle by hand, then it is placed in a semi boiling wood ash bath over night, which is used later for fertilizing the fields. The next day, the loosened fibers are beaten across a stone several times and rubbed with clay to loosen the remaining plant debris.
like most things in nature, this fabric has no one colour. The colour of one piece can vary from straw yellow to grey brown and even dark brown. Each length of fabric is a unique handwoven piece, in its truest, cleanest and most ecological form.
The fabric keeps and protects body warmth, can be boiled and becomes softer and more beautiful with time and wear.
In a nutshell:
100% Himalayan nettle
Approx. 65cm wide
Hands pun and woven
Each piece is unique and can vary to the picture shown
Rinse in a light soap wash
Suitable for making: Blazers, jackets, winter clothing, children's clothing, trousers, vests.
Cushions, table cloth, curtains.
Bags, upholstery, embroidery and much more
Because this cloth is produced by hand and in small amounts there isn't an endless supply of cloth. Please contact me, if you would like bigger quantities.
Nettle yarn was once used widely in Europe and was known as the 'Poor man's Linen'. Nettles once rivaled flax and hemp (and later, cotton) as a staple fiber for thread and yarn, used to make everything from heavy sailcloth to fine table linen up to the 17th/18th centuries. "In Scotland, I have eaten nettles," said the 18th century poet Thomas Campbell, "I have slept in nettle sheets, and I have dined off a nettle tablecloth. The young and tender nettle is an excellent potherb. The stalks of the old nettle are as good as flax for making cloth. I have heard my mother say that she thought nettle cloth more durable than any other linen."