The Story is About to Begin

I SET UP THE COMPANY, THANKS TO NETTLE

There was a sunny summer day, after rain, in 2017. I searched something online and faced this picture of a dark brown yarn. It said it was made from willowherb. Willoherb is a very common weed in Finland so I was stunned to see that someone had made some yarn out of it. There was a comment that yeah, you might as well make yarn from nettles. From the nettles growing in Europe, growing in my yard as well. Latin name urtica dioica. Wow! I thought it was a ridiculous joke. I picked a single nettle from my yard and broke it to pieces and wondered if it could be done. There is no way! I burst into laugh, threw the pieces away and went on searching some other stuff, perhaps a new recipe including fresh coriander.

Knokkon - The story is about to begin
Knokkon Company founder
Sanna Kuoppamäki-Luomansuu

HOW THE STORY GOES

Two days passed, and I noticed I kept thinking the nettle yarn. Se tuli uniin ja pisteli elämääni sinnikkäästi, Niinpä päätin tutustua pikaisesti nokkoseen kasvina. I thought I might as well search a little online. A little more. All the sudden I let nettles grow in my garden and I spot them wherever I go. Through online search I found this Finnish lady who had conducted a research how to make clothes from nettle. She used to be a teacher in a Finnish school. She and her team had made it. They combined the nettle fibre with silk and were able to produce prototypes from yarn, fabric and clothes. I was simply stunned even though I didn’t like the design of the clothes at all. But hey they were made 17 years before I saw them so no wonder. On another day the idea was suddenly born. I will bring this idea alive again and have the styles updated to suit the modern styles. I contacted the school and managed to purchase the research materials and samples from the school. So, I drove up there and back home. As I went through the material, I found out they had had also some cultivated German nettles. I went on and spent some more time online reading how nettle can be used in so many purposes. I managed to contact right people and I visited Germany and saw how nettles and German fibre hemp are worked into fine, beautiful, soft fibre in industrial scale, ecologically and without a drop of water. After the amazing trip I studied some basics of business from the angle of own business and I explained my business idea to the other students waving my hands with excitement. New material to Scandinavian markets targeting in reducing cotton in textiles in large scale. There was a silence after I had finished. One of the other students broke the silence and asked if anyone else dares to tell anything about their idea 😊

 

PKTEHOKASYRITYS OY

If you have a great idea you are heading to international markets, you can apply this special financial support in Finland and buy consulting to help you. My idea was very innovative so I contacted Mr Antti Leijala from PKtehokasyritys Oy and there we were talking how I should focus on certain things and we made plans and he talked, and I listened 😊. Nettle is such a pain and people hate it, so I had to have good advisor for my plan. How to improve nettles image from itching and scratching into smooth, silky, high quality fibre everyone wants to sleep in between? Nettle sure is a handful.

 

ECOLOGICAL FIBRES FROM LOCAL MARKETS

Cultivated nettle and hemp grow ecologically and without watering or pesticides or herbicides in Germany. They are worked into fibre mechanically in industrial scale. I have seen the factory and the employees. I was very surprised there is no need to use water in the process which produces such a clean and beautiful fibre. This way a lot of drinking water is saved and there is no trace of chemicals in the products. Nettle and hemp are combined with Turkish organic cotton and they are spinned into very thin and fine yarn. They have GOTS certificate. Then and there I decided to take hemp into my future collection. The yarns are weaved into fabrics for example for Knokkon. I would say it is great to be able to offer such ecological fabrics compared to fabrics containing only cotton and from so close. The material streams are decent just to pinpoint this fact. 😊

 

NETTLE HAS SUPERPOWER AND IS EFFECTIVE UNDER SOME WEIGHT

Hemp is very breathable fibre and therefore it is nice to wear. Nettle beats hemp any time when it comes to breath ability. Nettle (urtica dioica) is the most breathable fibre of all natural fibres. It must be used close to skin since it makes you feel extra comfortable. I read this Swedish research how weighted blankets have positive impact on people. Weighted blanket has extra weight in them, and it calms people and help them concentrate. It feels like a big hug and a person wearing a weighted blanket start to produce a little serotonin. What if I combine nettle and weighted blanket? How would that effect. Think of a person who comes home from work or after workout sits under weighted blanket including nettle fibre. Have I managed to change the image of nettle even a teeny-weeny more positive?

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