The Nettle Dress

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A contemporary tale of a textile artist, Allan Brown, who spun nettles and then wove a cloth of the thread as he lived through the deaths of both his father and his wife, this hour-long documentary was released in 2023. At the moment, it seems only to be available “in person” in the UK. Fingers crossed that it will be available in the US one day.
An October 2023 review in The Guardian details how he came to choose nettles and how the preparation and spinning of the fibers helped him be present when he needed to be present. The idea to make a dress came later when someone told him of the Hans Christian Andnersen fairy tale, The Wild Swans. Brown envisioned a devotional dress in honor of his wife that could be worn by one of their daughters.

If you don’t know the fairy tale, Wikipedia has a summary here. Basically, to free her eleven brothers from a spell, the princess must knit shirts for each out of stinging nettles.

The Guardian article is certainly worth reading and the approximately two-minute trailer is definitely worth watching.

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