Stinging nettle fiber can be used to create eco-friendly clothing.
Stinging nettle grows in the wild and is widely known as a weed. Nettle fiber can be spun into a yarn and used as a fabric for clothing and many other uses. Stinging Nettle is a natural moth repellent and nettle fiber has been used for clothing in many cultures.
Here are some examples of what nettle yarn has been used for:
- Nettle is often used in Nepal for backing wool carpets
- Nettle yarn was used in World War 1 and World War 2 as a substitute for cotton yarns that were unavailable
- The uniforms from Napoleon’s Armada were made from nettles
- In Nepal, nettle is used for both fine clothing and for sailcloth
Nettle fibers are hollow, which enable them to provide natural thermal insulation for the winter months or cooler climates. But they are also suitable for summer months or warmer climates too. This is because the yarns can twist themselves to close the hollow core and reduce insulation.
Nettle has not really used in the mass markets until now, but perhaps this will change. Here’s an example of nettle fiber being used as fabric for underwear.