what is nettle and why is it called a sustainable eco-friendly fibre?

 Nettle or stinging nettle/ brandnetel is herbaceous perennial plant that grows wild in Almora and Chamoli districts in Uttarakhand a state in northern part of India.

This plant was unexplored until 2014, but when people got to know the potential uses of this plant, a lot of organisations started researching on how to turn this plant into fibre that can be woven to make textiles.

Why is it sustainable and eco-friendly?

  1. No chemicals/ pesticides - The plant is found in the upper reaches of Himalayas and grows in the wild without need to abundance of water or pesticides.
  2. 100% bio-degradable - Nettle fiber was widely used for thousands of years as a source of fiber for bowstrings, fishing nets and lines, snares, and cordage. It’s 100% bio-degradable fibre.
  3. Zero-waste - It’s a zero-waste plant as every part of nettle is used for eg. For food, fodder, cosmetics, medicines and biodynamic agriculture
  4. Community upliftment – The entire process starting from harvesting to finally making the fibres is done by small communities in the Himalayas. This helps villagers to use the resources they have access to, to make a good living.

Villagers have used the plant fiber for making domestic products like ropes and other rope-based products such as slippers, scrubs etc for years. Unfortunately, over the years the raw material for these products has been replaced by plastic. With growing awareness about using eco-fibre amongst the consumers, Nettle seems to be a great fibre to bring into mainstream focus for designers and brands to use them in their collection.

back to overview

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published