Friday, May 6, 2011

Spider Silk

photo from this site
The picture at right is a traditional royal Madagascar weaving done in spider silk. That's right. Spider silk. The silk was milked by hand from golden orb spiders found in the wild in Madagascar. More information about the cloth and the process that went into its creation can be found here.

This is one of the most beautiful textiles I've ever seen, and I'm doubly interested in it because in my book, Rose of Par Kluhnd: A Fairy Tale, there is an area in the Lands of Shey which produces textiles made from spider silk. In fact, Rose, from time to time in the story, wears armor made from spider silk.

Spider silk ounce, for ounce, is stronger than steel, but my use of it as armor in the story is poetic license. It turns out that spider silk is extremely elastic, so although it might be able to stop a sword or a bullet, it would stretch so much in the process that the sword or the bullet would actually go right through you anyway. For a tad more information about spider silk, visit this post in my blog.

And here is a little clip featuring this amazing, golden cloth woven from the silk of spiders:


Kathleen Valentine said...

That is really, really interesting. Now I'm wondering what it would be like to knit with.

I'm going to cross-post your blog to mine. I think this is fascinating.

ICQB said...

Hi Kathleen!

I think it's fascinating, too - I'd love to touch the fabric.