Innovate UK have funded a Field to Fabric project looking at the potential to grow nettles for textiles. Nettles have been used for textiles for centuries - Mary Queen of Scots preferred nettle for her undergarments (apparently). Innovate UK are great for supporting projects that are a little bit out there so when I asked for funding to see if we could make nettle underpants they were up for it!
We know we can grow nettles here, we think they might be good for bioremediation - could they be used as a crop to treat farmyard dirty water? The plant seems to be similar to flax so we are testing out whether it can be scutched and hackled like flax or carded like wool. I'll post our progress on here.
We'd be interested to hear from anyone who knows anything about nettles.