Synthetic spider thread

Paul C. Stigger III- Blog 6

The manufacturing of synthetic spider silk for the purpose of progressing with clothing technology could be the new great thing for the fashion industry. When comparing the characteristics of the three primary materials that help construct clothing which are Kevlar, polyester, and lycra; there’s no comparison. The nature of spider silk could be considered fabled because the tensile strength of the silk is proportional to that of steel, while in addition, contributing both a light and stretchy component within the material as well. Unlike the silk of a silkworm, that’s used for the production of translucent appearing gowns and dresses, there’s currently no logical way to retract silk from a spider. A California startup company by the name of Bolt Threads have established a way to mimic real spider silk by creating protein microfibers that consist of refashioned yeast, water, and sugar, which is then fabricated through fermenting which helps create a real spider silk illusion.


Keeping in mind that this new form of technology is still nowhere near being finalized for global release to the public, just imagine how this upcoming material can aid our society. Within fashion the main upside to using this material is for the purpose of durability and duration, which can also be considered a negative because with a material of this grade, consumers won’t feel the need to purchase more clothing items, which in return can create a surplus in production for producer hypothetically speaking.  Also, to be able to fully master this material to a point where it’s being produced, and expanded widely throughout the world could improve the correlations of the material from a standpoint of how many other ways could this be used rather it’s for constructing, or strength purposes, it would be truly intriguing to see where those ideas might lead.


One comment

  1. kneesbee

    You mentioned that this revolutionary spider thread has the ability to significantly impact the world of fashion. I think you are being rather modest. A thread with the tensile strength of steel seems to have endless possibilities as to where it could be applied. It would be a shame to constrict such an innovative material to something as conventional and banal as durable clothing.

    Thread could make for some compelling pieces of architecture. If it is truly as strong as steel, imagine its capabilities in application. It could potentially generate unique façade systems, and maybe even support a suspension bridge. Or it could be applied in more practical settings, such as replacing the material in fish nets, or using them as strings in an instrument. The steel-stringed guitar would have an entirely new meaning.

    These applications would bring light to the material’s unique properties. Its elasticity could be utilized where comfortability is an essential factor (such as durable clothing), a requirement that steel could not accomplish. Also, its lightweight properties would outmatch steel in the sense that the load due to its own weight would be significantly decreased, which would, in turn, decrease its structural and physical limitations.

    In class, we’ve been forced to think about material misuse. I doing so, we are opening our minds to all the possibilities, both orthodox and unorthodox, as to where a material can be applied. This practice is not only important for looking back at existing materials, but also looking at new ones. Materials such as the spider thread are created as a result of this very practice.

    – Khai Tran

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