A gift idea for the person who already has everything: spider silk couture! (Or the closest thing to it). It took one million spiders to produce the silk for this textile from Madagascar (although the wild spiders were released after their silk was extracted, so some of them may have been repeat donors.) The video is absolutely fascinating:
The silk is naturally golden and undyed. Each individual thread in the cloth was made by twisting 96 to 960 individual spider silk filaments together. I would love to touch it - I can't really imagine what it must be like, can you?
Is there any reason to think this spider silk fabric is any different from that made using silkworm moth silk, other than being out of the ordinary?
So, spider silk has the same tensile strength as Kevlar. I'm wondering if the tapestry is not only incredibly beautiful, but also bullet-proof?
This is fantastic! I hope it comes to the UK as well.
The spiders are rather impressive, too.
CPP - spider silks (there are numerous) have different structures than silkworm silk and consequently have a greater tensile strength, are more elastic, and more waterproof.
Bullet-proof gowns would be awesome for heads of state, Jane! :)
Actually the bulletproof thing is not that far fetched. Scientists are already in the process of blending the genetics of spiders (specifically those involved in the silk production) and the genetics of goats. the idea being that the properties of the spider silk can be produced in much higher quantity in goats milk and then a separation process can be used to extract it for the specific purpose of designing ultra light body armor. sounds so crazy even science fiction can't compete. I'm sure it would still have to be relatively thick, but the weight would be absent so the biggest concerns would probably be how cumbersome is it and how flammable is it?
I can't help but notice the right index finger of the man in the picture looks painfully swollen.
Every time I think "This is her absolute coolest post ever, there will never be one cooler!" something like this comes along, and I can't even come up with aything more intelligent that "wow" to contribute, and I'm yet again proven wrong. You always have something cooler.