URTICA Nettle Fabrics

24th September 2014

Celebrating a long forgotten and under appreciated plant, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Nina Gautier has explored the possibilities of the Urtica Dioica or better know Nettle plant as a renewable textile source as well as a natural dye.

Broken down into two parts, her project 'URTICA_lab:Sensing the source' seeks to connect us with the hidden attributes of the Nettle, whilst 'URTICA_Textile: Touching the raw' is a range of textiles made from nettle fibre exploring the different colours to be created from the different parts of the plant.

URTICA_Lab takes an alchemic approach to the plant and looks beyond the 'stinging nettle' view and shows the transformation of the nettle into different substances respecting its uses in food, medicine, textile and colour.

Celebrating the textures and colours of the nettle and reviving a material that has been used in clothing for over 2000 years but has been out of favour since it was last used by the German Army for uniforms during WW1 due to cotton shortages, Nina has designed a series of blankets, each focusing on the specific quality of the stinging nettle.

URTICA-raw applies the hand spun nettle yarn in its raw colour whilst enhancing the strength and durability of the fibre, URTICA shades is woven with various natural fibres and dyed from one dye bath revealing different tones and shades whilst URTICA spectrum showcases the entire colour range originating from the nettle plant.

More than simply sustainability this project similarly to that of Laura Daza looks to nature to learn lessons that have long been forgotten.

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