I finally got some Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) this spring . It grows wild in many place. It just happened to show up in my garden. I am going to make cordage like the ancients did many moons ago! They fastened arrowheads, spearheads, sewn clothing, pouches, shoes & sandals, belts, and more. Dyes can be made too ranging fr om yellow to deep green. The cordage can be used for rope, fishing line, and nets. 2,000 year old nettle clothing was found in China and is still remains intact!
Step 1: Get some gloves !
Stinging Nettle does sting the skin. So wear gloves, cotton or any type will do. Break or cut the stem at ground level.
Step 2: Strip off leaves
Grab the top of the stem, and strip off all leaves. Sliding your hand down to the broken off end. Save the leaves, they are full of Vitamins and healing qualities!
Step 3: Pound the stems flat
Take a mallet or club or stone and gently pound the stems at the leaf nodules (bumps where leaves were) and then bend the stem in the middle. With the insides showing outward.
Step 4: Peel away the insides
Peel away the inside strands and save the long thin outer strips.
Step 5: Separate the strips with your fingernails
Pull apart the strips to the desired size width you need for your project . You can twist and braid it too.
Step 6: Wrap the strands
Now you have strong cordage to wrap a project . My first was an arrow shaft and arrowhead.
Step 7: Let the strands dry
Stinging Nettle is very strong. When dry it is hard to brake! I have tried to pull and snap it and can't!
Step 8: You can use this cordage for many projects
Here is a toy hammer I made for my Grand kids.