Thursday, July 04, 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013 - stage six

Here's something different, and yes, it is about spinning.

Took a break today and harvested nettles.  That's Stinging Nettles to you.  

They are about 4 to 5 feet tall and just going into flower.  I figure they must be ready by now.  

I picked them, got stung by them, stripped the leaves off them, and put half of them on part of the lawn that gets the most dew, and the other half to dry to be retted next spring.

I'm assuming that they are something like flax in that they get broken, scratched, and hackled.  But I can't tell from reading if they get dried before retting or retted fresh.

Trying to find some medieval sources on how nettles use to be processed.  So far all I've come across is that they are finer than hemp and softer than flax.  

So if anyone knows how to transform this into something I can dress a distaff with and spin, please let me know.

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