Space & Innovation

Golden Spider Silk Makes Rare Cloth: Photos

Delicately woven pieces were on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Jan. 19, 2012

-- Millions of spiders in Madagascar gave up their brilliant gold silk to textile artist Simon Peers and designer Nicholas Godley. Together the two have crafted some of the world's largest textiles made from spider silk. These delicately woven pieces are going on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London this month. One piece, a cape that almost seems to glow, required silk from 1.2 million female golden orb spiders and took years to create. Here are images from the upcoming collection as well as the weaving process. It all takes the patience of a spider.

A cape made by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley from the silk of 1.2 million female golden orb spiders.

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A textile made from golden orb spider silk on a loom. To get the silk, about 80 people set out early in the morning looking for the spiders, collect them in boxes, and then bring them to a spidery, the BBC reported.

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This print that shows a method for silk collection from golden orb spiders.

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Spider silk being woven into an intricate textile.

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A golden spider silk hand-woven brocaded textile.

Detail of a golden spider silk hand-woven brocaded textile.

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A yellow woven spider silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley at Peers Workshop in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

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The display will showcase the world’s largest pieces of cloth made from spider silk. Spider silk is stronger than steel or Kevlar but not very flexible.

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