When Nettles find you, You find them and their Nettle Power!

When Nettles find you, You find them and their Nettle Power!


By means of a review by the Guardian online 17 September 2023 I would like to introduce Allan Brown who is the creator of nettle thread and the most beautiful film 'The Nettle Dress' along with film-maker Dylan Howitt by his side.


The Nettle Dress review – a husband’s grief becomes a thing of beauty in lyrical documentary

Dylan Howitt’s moving film follows textile artist Allan Brown as he painstakingly weaves a dress from foraged nettles after the death of his wife.

 textile artist Allan Brown in the middle of shoulder-high vegetation in a bright green woodland setting, foraging for nettles

Labour of love… textile artist Allan Brown out foraging in The Nettle Dress.

Photograph: Dylan Howitt

There’s an almost fairy-tale like quality to the subject of this lovely, poignant documentary: after the death of his beloved wife, a man spends seven years crafting a hand-spun dress from foraged nettles. Allan Brown, a textile artist, speaks eloquently of the rich symbolism of taking something that is a source of pain, stripping it of its sting and, over the years, gradually reshaping and repurposing it into a thing of beauty. The laborious process – from gathering bushels of the plants in the woods, Labrador at heel, to spinning the fibres of the stalks into thread and weaving the thread into a rough-hewn fabric – is captured with a lyrical sensitivity by film-maker Dylan Howitt's unobtrusive camera.




The Nettle Dress film is magical, exquisite and stunning. It is beautiful on all levels, and I whole-heartedly recommend you seek it out and see it at your local cinema as soon as possible. I can truly say that the nettle plant passion with its soft silky fibres has woven a strong webby bond of threads between us. Not only do we share a joy of weaving and textiles but we understand the synergy and positive impact that working with nature has had on our health/mental health and on our friendship. To embark on an intimate journey with nettle's has power; a wonder and mystic. Nature does not disappoint as we become totally immersed and at one in the experience; followed by the poignant discovery to be found in the acknowledgement of both the rescue and release.

By association with the 'The Nettle Dress' film and in honour of the nettle I feel the documentary magically conveys the intense labour of love required to painstakingly pick and process the nettles (Urtica Dioica) that we have growing here in the United Kingdom.

Sometimes, I get asked about the nettle yarn I use to weave the scarves I make; in response I happily provide the information along with the reasons I source my yarn from a Nepalese 'family', working closely with the producers of 'Allo' nettle yarn in Pokhara, Nepal. I support the nettle artisans and promote the industrious work they do with nettles as a part of their cultural heritage.

I cannot pick and process enough nettle fibre for the number of scarves I wish to weave myself, and so I enjoy, and I'm happy to work in collaboration with other passionate nettle enthusiasts whilst enjoying the bond and nettle web that has been created between us on a global 'nettle family' scale.

Nettle loving people work close to nature, they are naturally a force of nature and this is evident by the fibre making work Allan Brown has achieved and the amazing film that has been produced by Dylan Howitt. I have been blessed to have seen 'The Nettle Dress' film many times and now others having seen the film can appreciate why I do not process locally sourced nettle as my own fibre for weaving.

However, I can demonstrate the process and will be running nettle cordage workshops in 2024 so watch this space and find me on Instagram @jane.gray.nettle.weaver

Let's share the nettle revolution, chat with me if you want to know more,  visit or stay in my weave studio near St. Ives in Cornwall, come and make nettle cordage and enjoy a session with me learning about all the health benefits not only for our environment but also for our own personal health.

In the meantime, thank you for reading about our magical nettles. Perhaps, you might like to visit my online shop here for your very own 'hug' that a nettle scarf can provide.

But now it's time for an infusion of nettle tea, and let us keep learning about nettles together.

Nettle tea time, aah, enjoy!!

Jane xx

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.