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Sting to String – a nettle fibre workshop

August 6 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Nettle fibre

Nettle fibres have been used in textiles for thousands of years. In this workshop you will learn some of the methods used to extract useful fibre and have the opportunity to try one or two out.

Preliminary outline of the day

  1. Know your nettle. An outline of the uses of nettles and their structure.
  2. Hunting, catching and skinning your nettles.
  3. Making a simple 2-ply twine. Optional – using your twine to make something arty-crafty.
  4. Filleting for a finer fibre.
  5. Heckling
  6. Alternative methods.
  7. Spinning a good yarn.


We do have some gloves but if you have some sturdy nettle proof (leather is usually best) gardening gloves then bring them. Washing up gloves work as well.

Long trousers and long sleeves recommended for the hunting and catching stages. Sturdy footware is a good idea as the ground can be uneven (and the nettles are often hanging out with the brambles).

We will break for an hour for lunch so you can either bring a packed lunch or visit Branches Cafe.

Course Tutor

Carol has been a volunteer at Poltimore House since 2017 after being a physics teacher for over 20 years. Towards the end of her teaching career she studied for an A’level in textiles and during research into plant fibres found out about using nettles for textiles. After much research (thanks to the University of YouTube) and many frustrating attempts she now has a better understanding of what to expect and how to extract a usable fibre.


August 6
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Poltimore Events
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Poltimore House and Grounds
Poltimore House
Exeter, Devon EX4 0AU United Kingdom
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