Living Gold: The World's Largest Spider Silk Cape

Gold Cape "Spider Production"

Natural fabrics have always been highly regarded. And once upon a time, the same silk that can be bought in almost any textile store today was worth its weight in gold. So what can we say about the cost really gold leaf, like the one that is now on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London)? No, it doesn't smell like metal here. It's just that this chic cape is completely woven from an unpainted yarn “made” by such a cute creature as golden spider.
Gold Cape "Spider Production"

Large spiders Nephila - Excellent weavers and almost part-time jewelers. The threads from which these arthropods build their cobwebs are light, strong and, most importantly, have a pleasant golden hue. At the same time, precious silk is produced exclusively by females. This amazing ability for the benefit of art decided to use two homo sapiens: the British historian art Simon Peers and his American business partner with a suitable business name Nicholas Goldley. Together they carried out a large-scale project, forcing million (!) Gold spinners "work" for themselves for a long five years to get an amazing gold cloak in the end.
Gold Cape "Spider Production"

Spiders were placed in a special device, where they extracted the secret. At the same time, the authors of the project assure the public that the procedure did not jeopardize the life of arthropods, and indeed: at the end of the term of "service" the creatures were released on free bread. In any case, the process turned out to be lengthy and painstaking. For comparison: with the efforts of 23 thousand spiders, you can get just an ounce (about 28 grams) of precious yarn.
Gold Cape "Spider Production"

But the chic cape made of real "living" gold (and even decorated with complex embroidery and applique dedicated to "spider" motifs in mythology and culture) still saw the world. And now everyone can see it. To do this, you just need to be in London before June 5th and visit the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Leave Your Comment