Foraging Natural Fibres | harvest & process nettles for crafts, jewellery making, garden string

Permaculture Magazine & BeeKayMakes
Monday, 21st June 2021

Often considered a weed, the nutrient-rich nettle (Urtica dioica) is ideal for transforming into a strong, natural fibre to be used in crafts and jewellery making, a natural garden string/twine and a yarn for weaving.

Brigitte Kaltenbacher, a sustainable crafts practitioner from BeeKayMakes, explains the best time to harvest nettles and the simple methods for processing them (retting, drying scutching and combing).

Once combed, the nettle fibre strands can be made into cordage, thread, string and yarn, useful in the home for crafts and the garden as a strong and natural alternative to most strings.

Nettles are often in abundance, but do always forage responsibly. They are home and food to lots of pollinators and wildlife.

Brigitte shares more about this process in PM108:

For more from Brigitte visit: or

Useful links

Watch: Using nettles to feed seedlings

The benefits of stinging nettles