Working with Flax and Nettles

By woodlandstv

Slow connection? Watch in lower quality

Here at Bentley Woodfair we see expert Allan Brown talking us through the various processes involved in preparing flax and nettles ready for hand spinning - from growing, cutting, drying and storing through to working the plant to reduce it to its most useful natural fibres. Allan uses traditional equipment, adopting specific techniques to best work the flax. We appreciate how, in times past, this would have had enormous production value - as flax and nettles were used to make all sorts of crucial items, from sails and bed sheets to clothes and cordage - and this skill still has its value today. For more info, please email: [email protected]
http://www.bentley.org.uk/ An Adliberate film http://www.adliberate.co.uk for WoodlandsTV http://www.woodlands.co.uk/tv

Comments are closed for this post.


You had me with the thumbnail hahaha. You and your folk seem like great people.
Cheers from Nova Scotia!!

Moose Knuckle

February 14, 2019



April 14, 2019

Love it! Thank you for making the video!


May 11, 2019

I think you might be able to get the nettle fibers a bit finer by boiling them on wood ash (i.e. In lye) and scraping them (in addition to retting of course); this is how ive seen a lot of bast fibers extracted in Japan

sumi singh

June 24, 2019

Did he make his beard from flax lol

greenfingers gardener

July 29, 2019

It's been a long time since I heard of nettle spinning and weaving. In Scotland, we knew of women who had nettle sheets that had lasted two generations. It's extremely tough fabric. I have a tone of nettles but processing them into fibre is a lot of work. Great video.

Anstria Tarot

September 22, 2019

How long does dew retting take approx?

V Chandla

January 5, 2020

I stayed with a tribe in Papua and every woman was sitting round chewing and twisting cord by hand, even whilst walking around.


March 8, 2020