Nettles tend to be something we shy away from. They sting. Once they get established they spread all over the place.But what if we could actually make use of nettles? We could make soup, but what if we could make fibres out of nettles that we could spin or weave, dye or knit? Our ancestors did it and now we can do it too, thanks to this fascinating book by Birte Ford, who was born in Denmark but now lives in Perthshire, in Scotland, where she searches out and uses nettles for many different handcrafts.Birte takes us through the processes needed to produce nettle fibre. How to recognise the right kind of nettle to use; how to harvest them - without stinging ourselves; how to dry and store them for the requisite time before baking and pounding them to extract the fibres. She explains harvesting both dry and fresh nettles, and the intricacies of retting - a process which has been used for centuries. Finally, she suggests some uses for the resulting fibres, how to spin them, dye them or make them into pulp for papermaking. They can even end up as bio-fuel.Clearly explained and with stunning photography, Birte's book is a serious and practical approach to producing fibres from nettles and will make you look at these intriguing plants in a whole new light.