What is nettle? Nettle fibre is made from stinging nettles - a plant that has a long tradition in the textile industry that reaches back into ancient times.
The stem of the large stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is made up of very long and strong bast fibres. These have been used for millennia to make cords and ropes or weave them into cloth.
And in case you are worried - the fibres used for ropes and yarns do not sting! The famous sting comes from hollow stinging hairs called trichomes that are only situated on the outside of the leaves and stems of some of the subspecies of nettle.
In historic times, nettle fibres were valued for their strength and used to attach arrow heads to the shafts. Nettle cloth was renowned to be even stronger than linen. Nettle was also used in the fishing industry for nets and ropes. Sparked by the industrial revolution, cotton began to replace nettle, hemp and linen as the main textile fibres in Europe from the late 17th century onwards.
In the 20th century, the development of cheap acrylic fibres further pushed traditional plant-based fibres into the background.
However, with the growing realisation of the damage done to the environment by the sheer amount of plastic, and the fact that micro-plastics and acrylic fibres are now everywhere, even in our oceans and our drinking water, it is high time to bring back more natural fibres.
Over the last two decades, there has been a gradual resurgence of interest in traditional plant fibres such as linen and later hemp as alternative fibres to acrylics.
Nettle has some great properties that make it another fibre worth re-discovering. It is very strong, has extremely high moisture absorption properties, has a similar loft to cotton and adds a subtle elegant sheen.
And now we are pleased to be able to offer you nettle as a knitting yarn! Pascuali Nepal, is a gorgeous blend of 60% cotton, 28% linen and 12% nettle.
These three natural fibres complement each other perfectly. All three fibres are moisture absorbent and have high breathability. While cotton has a tendency to expand and loosen over time, the long and strong fibres of linen and nettle help garments made with Pascuali Nepal retain their shape. The nettle fibres also add a gorgeously elegant sheen to the yarn.
Pascuali Nepal has a length of 180 m/50 g. You need approximately 350g to make a women's jumper size M.
Pascuali Nepal is a perfect summer yarn. It is also ideally suited for anybody allergic to animal fibres and for vegans who are looking for plant based alternatives to wool.
Pascuali Nepal is machine washable at 30 degrees Celsius. Spun and dyed in Italy. Recommended needle size: 3-4mm. Tension: 28 sts = 10cm (approximately 4ply).