Around the time when the Hunebedden (dolmens) were built, 5,500 years ago, our ancestors wore clothes made from stinging nettles, so the Hunebed foundation tells us. In the Middle Ages, noble ladies chose underwear made from stinging nettles – because the material felt so soft, so the story goes.
Stinging nettle fabric was used in Europe until the 19th century. Because the fibre was difficult to separate from the bast and an easy and cheap alternative, cotton, had appeared on the market, stinging nettles fell out of favour. Until around 2000, when Stoffkontor Kranz restarted the production and processing of stinging nettles in Germany. Interest also revived in Britain and other countries. In 2005, Brennels was born. There were significant setbacks, but also small and large successes. Because the name Brennels is too similar to BRENNET, a respectable 100-year-old German textile business, in autumn 2011 the name Brennels was changed to Netl. The spirit remains!
In 2010, “Gyro Gearloose’’ Jeroen Bos trod in the footsteps of history and devised a natural, hypermodern bio-fermentation process (dutch page) for soaking and separating the soft fibres from the coarse bast of the nettle plant. Simple and brilliant.