Arachnophobes beware: some chilling reading awaits!
Man has been making fabrics since time immemorial. The word “textile” comes from the Latin for “weave,” and the oldest textiles ever found come for the area which is now modern-day Georgia and date back to around 35,000 BC (Before Christ). Over history fabrics have been made from a whole palette of materials: cotton, sheep’s wool, camel hair, and hemp, to name but a few.
Until recently, however, no-one had been able to produce cloth made from one of nature’s strongest materials – spider silk.
This was until textile designer Simon Peers joined forces with entrepreneur Nicholas Godley in 2004 to produce a fabric from silk produced by a species of spider found in Madagascar. The silk has a golden hue which gave its the finished product a distinct sheen. After three years’ work, and 1.2 million spiders, the team managed to produce a shawl. A few years later they returned with a larger garment, a cape, which was exhibited at the V&A Museum in London.
But do not worry. No spiders were hurt in the production of these fabrics. Every single arachnid was released about half an hour after being “harvested.”
The big question is: would you wear something made from spider silk, or are you too afraid?
Take a look at hos the fabric was made. (Video Courtesy of the V&A Museum)