Nettle Fibre at London Fashion Week 2019

After recently having the pleasure of an introduction to nettle fibre and the process undertaken to create this by Allan Brown earlier in the summer, I am fully aware of the time and skill involved in creating this interesting fabric.I was equally stunned at the quality of drape and sheen the final cloth can achieve.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find this fibre a main talking point of London Fashion Week this year, as the designers VIN + OMI decided to show off nettle fibre fabrics as the showstopper to their Spring 2020 collection fashion show, entitled “Sting”. To help them garner publicity for their eco-friendly design ethos, they specifically used nettles gathered from Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate, as well as wood that was shaped into handles for handbags in the collection.

The designers also chose to use natural dyes madder and woad, which I had recently heard more about during a talk by author and natural dyer, Judy Hardman.

The press releases for the show struck me as particularly fun, as the pair attached biodegradable and plastic free plasters to their card invitations, with seeds of wildflowers tucked into the plaster. Recipients of the invitations could then put the entire thing in their garden in order to plant the seeds.

Other eco-friendly fabric related antics include using recycled plastic from The Savoy hotel in London to create printed scarves that the hotel has sold in their gift shop, but the VIN + OMI website gives a lot of detail on the myriad projects and design inspiration that they have been involved with, and is well worth checking out. 

It is great to see alternative, environmentally friendly and sustainable fibres, fabrics and dyes penetrating couture fashion and hope to see more instances of this making its way onto the highstreet.

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