Nettle yarn from Nepal

Nettle as a textile

Nettles has been used for textiles for thousands of years.

There is evidence, based on microscopic studies of archeological findings, of what we previously thought to be flax being indeed nettle used in textiles about 4000 years ago.

Because of it´s strenght, nettles has been used as ropes, fishing nets and sacks. But it has also been used for clothing and valuable textiles. Due to it´s feel, it´s called as “silk plant” in Asia or “northern silk” in Europe.

Nettles as food

The modest and prickly nettle is a versatile food plant, a superherb with an incredible list of great properties.

Nettle contains 7 times more iron than spinach and 5 times more iron-absorbing vitamin C than an orange. The nutritional value of this healthy and tasty plant, its micronutrients and minerals, make nettle, which is considered a weed, a superior food material in many respects.


Nettle has been used in the treatment of skin problems, as a reliever of inflammation.

There is probably no disease for which the power of nettle as a powder or extract has not been tried. No wonder, because the medicinal properties of nettle are remarkably versatile.

The compounds contained in nettle leaves and stems have preventive and curative effects on inflammation; these nettle parts are used in the treatment of arthritis, anaemia, allergies, joint pain and urinary tract infections. Nettle roots contains  compounds that have an effect in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Nettle's properties come to the fore in cosmetics. Traditionally, nettle has been used in the treatment of skin problems, as a reliever of inflammation. Many know from experience that nettle water also works as a hair conditioner.

Nettles for plant health - gardening

This global weed makes great fertilizer and pesticide for plants

Many see nettle as an unwanted guest, as a weed, in the garden. However, nettle makes great fertilizer for plants – nettle slurry. Nettle slurry promotes plant health and growth. This easy-to-make fertilizer contains lots of nitrogen, the nutrient that plants need most. It also contains vitamins and minerals that are important for plants – as well as for human beings. Nettle water can be used as pesticide against aphids and mites, as well as fungi.

International Nettle family

The family of nettles includes about 2,625 species – quite a big family connecting people around the world! Most of us have some kind of an emotional bond to this plant. For some of us memories comes from childhood. Maybe the best-known nettles are, at least from our point of view:

Urtica Dioica

aka European Nettle aka Stinging Nettle, also known as Vihulainen in Finnish, which could be tranlated as Enemish in English. 
This nettle has been well studied in Europe, it has been a source of fibre, food and natural medicine. It is also used in gardening as fertilizer and to keep mites away. Stinging nettle grows wild, but is also cultivated.

Girardinia Diversifolia

aka Allo, aka Himalayan Giant Nettle. As you can tell by the name, this one is huge: it can grow up to three meters tall! This nettle has the longest and strongest fibres and can equal carbon fibre. Girardinia diversifolia grows wild in large areas of Nepal and India.

Boehmeria Nivea

aka Ramie, aka Chinese Silk Plant. This plant stands our from this group with one feature: it does not have stinging hairs! Ramie might be the best-known fabric material – it has been manufactured for thousands of years and it is still going strong!