Nettles
 

  Be Nice to Nettles Week
  a CONE initiative
Nettles
 
“This is another clever initiative from CONE. It makes us think twice about the common yet important wildlife on our doorstep.

At Butterfly Conservation, being nice to nettles comes as second nature to us - we love them! Not only are nettles good for butterflies like Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock, they also have so much to offer to other wildlife. Our thanks go to CONE for increasing our awareness of this familiar and incredibly useful plant.”

Charlie Rugeroni
Butterfly Conservation - the leading organisation for the conservation of butterflies nationally

 

 
 
 

Clothing from nettles

Ouch! you may be thinking but the nettle has been used to produce a fine fibre that can be spun and woven into cloth.

Cloth has been woven from the fibres in mature nettle stems for many centuries - frequently used for tablecloths and sheets in Scotland. It is, however, difficult to ascertain the extent to which it was used as the term nettlecloth came to be used for all manner of fine material whether made from nettle or not.

Being similar in texture to those materials produced by flax and hemp fibres the cloth also became widely used by the German army during the First World War when there was a shortage of cotton for the soldiers' uniforms. Some of the reports may have been propaganda but is clear that nettle fibre was used alongside that of the nettles' Asian cousin, Ramie ( Boehmeria nivea ).

The juice of the stems and leaves has been used to produce a permanent green dye, while a yellow dye can be obtained from boiling the roots. Both colours have been used extensively in Russia.

 

 
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Did you know?
Native American braves would flog themselves with nettles to keep themselves awake while on watch.
 
 
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