Spider Silk Used For Golden Tapestry

With the Help of One Million Spiders R. Mickens/AMNH

This week, The American Museum of Natural History in New York City unveiled an 11-by-4-foot tapestry made entirely out of spider’s silk. The gold coloring comes from the golden orb-weaving spider. Simon Peers, a textile maker from Madagascar, began a partnership with fashion expert Nicholas Godley to help manifest his idea. The two then compiled a team who worked for the past four years creating the tapestry. With an estimated cost of $500,000 (out of their own pocket) the result is exquisite.

Now exactly how do you silk a spider?

“The spiders are harnessed … held down in a delicate way,” Godley says, “so you need people to do this who are very tactile so the spiders are not harmed. So there’s a chain of about 80 people who go out every morning at four o’clock, collect spiders, we get them in by 10 o’clock. They’re in boxes, they’re numbered, and then as they get silked, about 20 minutes later, they get released back into nature.” Godley said.

The tapestry will be displayed in The American Museum of Natural History for the next several months. [NPR]

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