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Stinging Nettle Upholstery Fabric

The BCE Environmental Leadership Awards recently praised Camira Fabrics as a major innovating business for a low-carbon economy. Their Sting Plus fabrics were featured. Four years research for development was funded by UK’s government with academic and scientific input.

The BCE intention is to honor businesses that meet current commercial demands without compromising the environment for future generations. It is UK’s most prestigious environmental award to be had.

The sustainable Sting Plus fabric is produced from the common stinging nettle. The result is a unique, strong, soft, and naturally fire retardant textile. Camira blends nettle with pure wool for an ultimate environmental upholstery solution.

Wikipedia describes the stinging nettle for textile use as a bast fiber. Like linen, it’s produced by a retting process. Unlike cotton, nettles grow easily without pesticides. The fibers, however, are more coarse than flax or cotton.

The project involved research into nettle cultivation, cropping and fiber extraction; fiber processing, blending, weaving and dyeing, technical performance evaluation and life-cycle assessment.

The Sting Plus composition is 75% wool and 25% nettle. I’m thinking the primary seating and upholstery application could be expanded. How about luggage, bags or outerwear?

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Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

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