How did people dress in prehistoric times? A dress only made of nettles!

The impressive exhibition at the Center of Traditional Technologies was preceded by ten years of research into nettle fiber. On display are dresses, shoes, hairnets and many others made of it. “We proceeded in an experimental way using only primitive handcraft techniques without the use of modern technology and metal tools,” described Aha! head of the center Václav Michalička (44).

More than four thousand dicotyledonous nettle plants fell on the presented pieces. And it took two years before the fully functional clothing and equipment of prehistoric people could be shown publicly in the premises of the center. “And what do you think, do the clothes burn when you put them on?” Michalička asked the little visitors. “We don’t know, but they are beautiful,” said sisters Anička (10) and Evička (8) Jedličkovy from Bílovec. “It doesn’t burn. In addition, thanks to the hollow nettle fiber, they also have excellent insulating properties,” explained the expert.


He speaks from the grave

Also inspired were 5,000-year-old finds associated with a prehistoric man called Ötzi, whose remains were found in a glacier in the vicinity of the Ötztal Alps. He had a very thin thread of nettle fiber attached to arrows or sewn luggage.

How did they make them?

“We remove the thorns from the nettle before harvesting so that it does not burn. After harvesting, tap it with chopsticks. We peel the stem and pull off the stem, then we soften it with the blunt edge of wood,” described Václav Michalička.

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