Tag Archives: nettle yarn

Nettle Yarn

Function with Beauty
by John Dunsmore
http://resurgence.gn.apc.org/articles/dunsmore.htm
The fibre from the Nettle plant has been used as clothing in many cultures. In Nepal, the Himalayan giant nettle was processed and used for both fine clothing and for sailcloth. The fibre from the inner part of the plant was removed. The bark is stripped and can be used for basketry. To soften the fibre, the inner bark was simmered overnight in a solution of water and wood ash. The fibre is then beaten and rubbed with oil to make it easier to separate and tease for spinning. The fibre is dried in the sun and handspun with a hand spindle.
http://resurgence.gn.apc.org/articles/dunsmore.htm

Nettle Cultivation
An exploratory study was done by FAIR-CT98 to reintroduce the cultivation of stinging nettle Urtica Dioica. The nettles are planted on trial fields of 10 hectares and the fibres will be spun into yarn and woven into fabrics to determine different applications.

Grado Zero Espace is researching the use of nettle as an environmentally friendly alternative textile. Nettle yarn was used in WW1 and WW2 as a substitute for cotton yarns. Stinging nettle has a hollow core making it a natural insulation. For warmer winter garments the yarn is spun with less twist so the hollow fibre can remain open. For summer wear the fibres are more tightly twisted, reducing the insulation . Nettles were also used as a natural dye. The leaves produce a green and the roots were boiled with salt or alum to yield a yellow dye.

Barhka Textiles
Village women knit wild nettle yarn into scarves.

The Wild Swan
“Look at the nettle that I hold in my hand! Around the cave where you are sleeping grow many of them; only those nettles, or the ones found in churchyards may you use. You must pick them, even though they blister and burn your hands; then you must stamp on them with your bare feet until they become like flax. And from that you must twine thread with which to knit eleven shirts with long sleeves. If you cast one of these shirts over each of the eleven swans, the spell will be broken…”
Hans Christian Anderson

Spinning Nettles – You Tube

From Sting to Spin

Gillian Edom writes about the historic use of nettles.

Exotic Yarns
Salish Blankets
Wooly Dogs
Spider Silk
Ramie
Norse Yarn

Yarn Spinning Books

The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Cotton, Flax, Hemp (Practical Spinner’s Guides)

Hand Spun: New Spins on Traditional Techniques

The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn

From Sting to Spin: book-edom

‘From Sting to Spin. A History of Nettle Fibre by Gillian Edom
Sting to Spin

This is the first book that has been written about the history of nettle fibre, apart from the Dunsmore books of course. These, however, relate purely to the Nepalese nettle, Girardinia diversifolia. Most of the history of my book is about the European Urtica dioica, but I have also written a little about the use of various nettle plants for fibre by the indigenous groups of North America and Canada.
The book has 68 pages and includes b & w and some colour pictures. It also contains a full reference list and index. The cost is £7, which converts to approximately $10. This would not include postage and packaging. If anyone would like to buy a copy of this book please write to:
Urtica Books,
16 South Way,
Bognor Regis,
West Sussex, England,
PO21 5HA

or email: gillianae at hotmail.co.uk. There are a limited number of copies available.

From Sting to Spin: A History of Nettle Fibre
UK: From Sting to Spin

Nettle Spinning

Nettle Yarn

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Nettles Spinning: aa052502

The fibre from the Nettle plant has been used as clothing in many cultures. In Nepal, the Himalayan giant nettle was processed and used for both fine clothing and for sailcloth. The fibre from the inner part of the plant was removed. The bark is stripped and can be used for basketry. To soften the fibre, the inner bark was simmered overnight in a solution of water and wood ash. The nettle fiber is then beaten and rubbed with oil to make it easier to separate and tease for spinning. The fibre is dried in the sun and handspun with a hand spindle.


American Stinging Nettle
Brousseau Collection
© Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary’s College

Nettle Cultivation

An exploratory study was done by FAIR-CT98 to reintroduce the cultivation of stinging nettle Urtica Dioica. The nettles are planted on trial fields of 10 hectares and the fibres will be spun into yarn and woven into fabrics to determine different applications.

Grado Zero Espace
is researching the use of nettle as an environmentally friendly alternative textile. Nettle yarn was used in WW1 and WW2 as a substitute for cotton yarns. Stinging nettle has a hollow core making it a natural insulation. For warmer winter garments the yarn is spun with less twist so the hollow fibre can remain open. For summer wear the fibres are more tightly twisted, reducing the insulation . Nettles were also used as a natural dye. The leaves produce a green and the roots were boiled with salt or alum to yield a yellow dye.

Through the Eye of the Needle – You Tube

Nettle Books

Through the Eye of a Needle: The True Story of a Man Who Went Searching for Meaning – and Ended Up Making His Y-fronts
UK: Through the Eye of a Needle

101 Uses for Stinging Nettles
UK: 101 Uses for Stinging Nettles

From Sting to Spin
Gillian Edom writes about the historic use of nettles.

From Sting to Spin: A History of Nettle Fibre
UK: From Sting to Spin

Nepal Nettle Project

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