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The Nettle Dress

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Dylan Howitt


Textile artist Allan Brown spends seven years making a dress by hand, just from the fibre of locally foraged stinging nettles. This is ‘hedgerow couture’, the greenest of slow fashion, and it is also Allan's medicine. It’s how he survives the death of his wife that left him and their children bereft, and how he finds a beautiful way to honour her.
The challenge of making zero carbon clothing sourced within a few miles of his home means re-learning ancient crafts and recalls the fairy tale 'Wild Swans'.
THE NETTLE DRESS follows Allan’s whole journey through all the seasons and years. Foraging, spinning, weaving, cutting and sewing the cloth. Finally the healing vision of the dress back in the woods where the nettles were picked, worn by one of his daughters. 'Grasping the Nettle' is at the heart of the film. Making a dress this way becomes devotional, with every thread representing hours of mindful loving craft. Over seven years Allan is transformed by the process just as the nettles are. Both the film and dress, a hand-spun labour of love in the truest sense, THE NETTLE DRESS is a modern-day fairytale and hymn to the healing power of nature and slow craft.


Type of film
Running Time
68 min
Dylan Howitt
Dylan Howitt
Vicki Lesley
Dylan Howitt
Director of Photography
Dylan Howitt
Alex Munslow, Liz Pearson


Production status


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Last updated 11th July 2023

Production Company

Softly Films Limited
Europa House
Goldstone Villas
BN3 3RQ.