Sep 09 2007

Collecting Nettle Fibres

Published by at 3:14 pm under Plant Materials

My last description of the process wasn’t so good, so I’m trying again. This time I have better photos (better, not great) to accompany it. The article covers the process up to storing the fibres before using them for thread. There are essential steps after this that I have already covered. I may however do a re-run on it with new and better photos.

Cut the nettle stalks with something sharp. A quartzite blade works nicely.


Strip off the leaves with by pinching on the base of the stalk and pull towards the other end.


Pound the stalk gently, particulary at the joints to flatten it.


Stick your thumb in a crack and wedge it up the entire stalk. Flatten it afterwards.


Crack the opened stalk on the inside at one point.


Pull in each direction to get the bark off the woody core.


The fibres (really bark sheets) should then be dried for infinite storage. I’ll describe further processes in another post. Photo: Whole nettles to the left and the fresh bark sheets on the right.



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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Collecting Nettle Fibres”

  1. Pabloon 09 Sep 2007 at 4:53 pm


    I like the new look site and will be following with interest.

    All the best.


  2. Jonason 10 Sep 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Those nettle fibres I have tried were very strong!

  3. Survival Acreson 11 Sep 2007 at 6:21 am

    Me too. Great job on using step-by-step photo’s. How long can nettle fibers be stored? What storage conditions do they require? Concerned about shelf-life, moisture and whether or not they become unusable due to what conditions?

  4. adminon 11 Sep 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks guys. Nettle fibres can to my knowledge be stored pretty much forever. But chances are you’ll make use of them within one season. If you are making a fishing net, you need extremely much, then you will not need to store them forever. Nettle fibres rot easily and should not be stored in moist conditions for a longer period of time (days).

    It is supposedly possible to make them more lasting by boiling them for a while in a solution of crushed inner bark of birch. I have not yet tried that myself.

  5. Urban Scouton 12 Sep 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Hey, love the new site! Great photos for processing nettle. Can I add this to the rewild wiki?

  6. adminon 12 Sep 2007 at 7:07 pm

    No problem Urban. Do also look out for the rest of the processing in a later post. 🙂

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