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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Golden Orb Spider Silk

Made with Golden Orb Spider Silk
This piece of fabric measuring 3.4 metres by 1.2 metres was woven from gold-coloured silk drawn out of 1 million wild Madagascan golden orb spiders.

The rug was on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It took four years to complete and is decorated with patterns of birds and flowers.

The spiders were collected during the rainy season from their webs on telephone wires using poles.

About 24 metres of the strongest “dragline" type silk filament were then extracted from each individual of Nephila madagascariensis. After they had been "silked", the spiders were released back into the wild.

Spiders’ silk is three times as strong as Kevlar and five times as strong as steel, but can stretch up to 40 per cent of its length. Work is under way to sequence spider genes to produce synthetic silk.

See more pictures and learn more about how it was made

(Image: American Museum of Natural History)

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