Material

Nettle, Ramie

By

Made in

Biodegradable 246 Circular 229 Dye 48 Fibre 71 Plant-based 178 Regenerative 55 Textile 98 Vegan 97 Nettle 3

Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie
Nettle, Ramie

Photos: Xue Chen

Bio-invasive Textile Library

The Bio-Invasive Textile Library is a win-win solution for both the ecology and fashion worlds realised entirely using invasive plants and fashion technology innovations. Its project uses LISI (London’s) invasive plants as raw materials for fibres and dyes to physically prevent the loss of biodiversity in the region and the inhumane treatment of animals.
Its bio-invasive furs are explored to achieve zero waste dyeing and technical production processes. By exploiting the textiles wasted during dyeing and technology development, further develop related ancillary bio-invasive materials. In the technical part, new textiles are created by innovating diverse technologies such as “implanting”, “felting” and “spinning”, providing fashion designers with solutions in the form of a “library.”
This project is currently being developed in collaboration with CSM BA Fashion knitwear designer Sivilia Acien to demonstrate the possibilities of the Bio-invasive Textile Library as a real fashion solution for fashion designers.

Making process

The study utilised the abundant invasive plant resources found in the N1C area as a designated experimental site. By conducting a comprehensive inventory of invasive plants in London and comparing it to the local resources, a map of invasive plant distribution was created. The project exclusively employed invasive plants from the region for all dyeing procedures, thereby making a significant contribution to invasive plant management and the mitigation of biodiversity loss in the area.

Regarding the dyeing process, a distinctive approach was adopted in contrast to the conventional practice of incorporating chemical components. Instead, clubmoss was employed as a substitute for chemical mordants, and various invasive plants were utilised for multiple dyeing sessions, resulting in a diverse range of colours. Additionally, the fibre component of the project incorporated invasive plant-based materials such as ramie fibre and nettle fibre.

The craftsmanship aspect involved the utilisation of innovative machines, namely the "Implanting" machine and the "Flocking" machine. The Implanting machine represents a groundbreaking technology capable of integrating any type of fibre into any fabric, employing a mechanical structure inspired by the process of hair transplant surgery. The needle mechanism, simulating crochet patterns, enables the precise placement of fibres at the back of the fabric. Notably, this portable machine permits the implementation of various patterns and designs, facilitating versatility in fibre implantation.

The Flocking machine, on the other hand, is a modified device that has undergone redesigning of the needle distance and angle, specifically tailored to accommodate the unique characteristics of nettle and ramie fibres. This modification allows the transformation of nettle and ramie fibres into felts akin to woollen coat fabrics. By combining these two machine technologies with knitting and spinning techniques, as well as employing a regenerative production process, the project successfully realises the amalgamation of diverse fabric forms.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Ingredients

100% Nettle with ramie, dye by invasive plants (eg, buddleia, snowberry, nettle, dockleaf, green alkanet, symphytum, etc.).

Credits

Video: Zhennan Jiang, Pengchao Wang

Physical samples

  • 153-1

  • 153-2

  • 153-3

Accessible to participants at the Jan van Eyck Academie and on appointment.