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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Garments made from spider thread

Yep, that's right a whole robe and a scarf were completely woven from spider thread. Spiders from Madagascar to be exact. For the spooky darlings that are thinking of now having a closet full of spider woven garments, I have bad news for you in order to produce such a garment is quite a process and terribly expensive. The cloak shown above was made in four years with over a million spiders and done with a weaving technique that hasn't been used since the 1800s.

The Golden Orb spider is able to produce strands  of golden colored threads and it takes 96 strands of thread to make a single fiber.  The history of spider weaving is actually pretty remarkable and started back in 1710 with François Xavier Bon de Saint Hilaire. He discovered that one can actually spin spider threading to produce textiles. He was able to do this by boiling the cocoons and using the comb to separate the fibers. In the early 1800s Raimondo Maria de Termeyer discovered that one could extract the threads from the source itself and thus producing a higher-quality silk. A machine was made up around 1807 to perform such a task. In the late 1800s there was a short period of spider weaving popularity, but it sadly died out as soon as it came to be. Bedroom drapes were known to be produced during this time period, but no surviving specimens are known to exist.
The cloak and scarf that were produced are truly remarkable one of the amazing properties about the Golden Orb spider's thread is that the fibers are so light and delicate that one hardly notices them touching you. When one has their eyes closed and a portion of the cape is put into ones hand, that person is unable to tell that they are actually holding anything. Many are calling the garment a real life invisibility cloak due to how light it is.

 This is a closeup of the intricate weaving woven into the cloak. Doesn't it remind you of the tale of Arachne?
The cloak itself is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert museum in London (A.K.A the Greatest museum of all time.)

A short video about the process.


-Horrorwood Doll

1 comment:

  1. This is stunning. I'm definitely going to go and see it at the V&A.



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