Nettle fibres are extracted from wild nettles. Image credit: Eva Pujol/Haelixa

Haelixa and Nettle Circle make nettle fibers traceable

23 June 2022 10:11

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Kemptthal/Oberkirch - Haelixa and Nettle Circle have agreed a strategic partnership. This will involve Haelixa using its innovative DNA tracer to mark nettle fibers obtained by Nettle Circle from the Himalaya. In this way, the origin can be confirmed in a forgery-proof manner.

Nettle Circle from Oberkirch in the canton of Lucerne is joining forces with the start-up Haelixa, which is based in Kemptthal in the canton of Zurich. The partnership will aim to make Nettle Circle’s nettle fiber from the Himalaya traceable and forgery-proof using the technology developed by Haelixa.

Haelixa, a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), has developed a DNA-based tracer that allows products to be registered without the need for physical labels or certificates. With this technology, information can be packed into artificially generated DNA sequences. These tracers are mixed into a liquid that allows them to be applied to various raw materials or products. The marker is invisible to the naked eye, while the authenticity of the product can be verified via a DNA verification test.

Haelixa used its DNA tracer in conjunction with the first Nettle Circle products last summer. For this purpose, nettle bark was marked with the DNA tracer on site. Fibers and yarns are then extracted from these barks to make textiles. The first joint project has already proven that the DNA tracer can withstand all stages of industrial raw material processing.

“Since nettle fiber is new to the textile market, we wanted to ensure from the beginning that Nettle Circle fibers were uniquely identifiable. Using Haelixa’s unique technology, allows Nettle Circle to guarantee full traceability and transparency in the entirety of the nettle fiber supply chain”, explains Cornelia Bamert, CEO and founder of Nettle Circle, in the press release.

Haelixa and Nettle Circle will be presenting their partnership on June 28 and 29 at the Future Fabric Expo in London. The trade fair will attempt to highlight the potential offered by nettle fibers.

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