Who is king on stinging nettle fabric? Well, Brennels claims to be the only company in the Netherlands to grow stinging nettles on a large scale. Driving forces are sustainability, fabric and fashion.
What’s new is the digestion process to produce lighter and more delicate nettle fibers to spin into fine yarns. The company has around 70 hectares of agricultural farmland in the north of the country dedicated to production with three years of extensive research under their belt.
Interestingly, the name Brennels is not a Dutch word. It’s actually derived from the German word, brennessel, which means stinging nettle. And it may be a surprise that Brennels grows organically, but certification is not the goal. In reality, some conventional fertilizer is utilized. Fact is, however, stinging nettle is more sustainably grown than any cotton.
Their current emphasis is that cultivation requires less water. Naturally occurring enzymes found in the nettles are isolated to break down unwanted cellulosic fibers in an anaerobic oxygen-free environment. As a result, the nettle is in a perfect condition without lost of strength and without feeling brittle.
The company teamed up with an Italian spinner to take their eco-textile development to the next level by working on fine-count ring-spun yarns from 100% nettle. Watch the video to learn more.