The most beautiful hand-harvested, handspun and handwoven blended nettle and cotton textile made in India by skilled artisans.
This particular cloth is a "crossweave" where the warp and weft are different shades so creating a distinctive couching pattern. It has a varied texture and irregular pattern made during the handweaving process. The yarns are black and ecru so creating a warm appearance. The surface itself is hairy caused by neps and fibres of the undyed natural nettle yarn, so the look is rugged and yet does feel soft and comforting on the skin rather than being abrasive. The cloth showcases the same pattern on both sides. The nettle yarn has been spun as a double ply giving it additional strength, and is further blended with cotton to combine their properties.
The nettle is undyed, while it is the organic cotton that contains the colour (azo-free dye). As the nettle yarn is natural and undyed, it has flecks of beige within it, and as we have discovered with this particular cloth, there is even some "chaff" - straw - from the nettle stalks.
Note, it is best not to pull them out to avoid pulling yarn with them, and they should break down in washing anyway. Requiring no to little chemicals to grow and process, nettle is a good fibre for the land, for farmers, yarn processors and for weavers.
The cotton is also grown locally using traditional organic processes, which means no chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides have been used in the cultivation. It also means that the farmers are using their own seed, rather than GMO. This is beneficial for farmers and for the land. The fabric is woven within a community of 75 female artisans in Uttarakhand, India. For 9 years they have been working to promote the craft and natural fibres of the area, by using locally-grown and foraged crops.