I just had to share this photo with you that I found in an article in Wired Science, September 2009. It’s the world’s only piece of golden fabric spun from the silk gleaned from large golden orb silk spiders in Madagascar.
Stunning isn’t it and all the more so when you read some statistics linked with its making –
- the silk from over 1 million wild spiders in Madagascar went into it
- 70 people spent 4 years collecting them (the spiders) from telegraph poles 🙂
- each spider yielded around 80 feet of silk (collected by a team of 12 people)
- the piece of golden fabric is 11 foot x 4 foot
It takes spiders about a week to regenerate their silk so when they were released back into the wild after they had been ‘milked’, everything was back to normal pretty quickly.
Scientists are working hard to replicate the spider silk which is incredibly elastic and comparable to steel in strength at the same time. But cooping spiders up together to go into mass production isn’t an option according to the article. “Unlike silk worms, which are easy to raise in captivity, spiders have a habit of chomping off each other’s heads when housed together”.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to a beautiful piece of clothing crafted from this amazing silk – Golden Spider Silk Cape.