Allan Brown demonstrates the processes he takes nettle plants through, in order to extract a usable fibre for textiles. ‘Nettles For Textiles’ was shot and edited by Dylan Howitt.

Which time is best for foraging nettles?

Gillian Edom, the author of ‘From Sting to Spin’, kindly shared a table from her Mphil thesis on nettle fibre extraction about harvesting / foraging dates. Seems although there is not much difference in the yield, the fibres are easier to extract early in the season.
As with all foraging, only collect what you can process and consider the wildlife that feeds on nettles!

“From Sting to Spin”, the 2nd edition is published!

From Sting to Spin. Gillian Edom (2019)

The wait is over! The second edition of “From Sting to Spin” is now available.

We have created a little website with more details about the book, a few chapter previews and how to purchase it.
The web address is

I hope you will enjoy browsing the website and learning a bit more about my book From Sting to Spin (2nd edition, 2019).

Happy browsing!

Working with green nettles – no retting

A short film demonstrating how to extract strong, fine fibres from ‘green’ nettle plants to create thread. It also looks back into time and explores how our Neolithic ancestors may have been processing nettles to extract fibre for textiles. Allan processes the green nettles ‘wet’, i.e. directly or very shortly after collecting.

Nettle processing – by Allan Brown

You’ve seen the video(s), now you can read in detail the various processes that Allan uses in order transform nettles into textiles too.
The document is still evolving, any comments let us know 🙂

Allan Brown_NettleProcessing.pdf

If you would like to use any parts of this document, please check with Allan and cite as follows:
Brown, Allan. NETTLES FOR TEXTILES (2017),