A New Fabric Brought to You by . . . Spiders
A coveted fabric in the fashion world and by consumers who can afford it, silk is not only beautiful but strong and insulating. And it has always been produced by silk worms, who are raised and farmed to spin this precious textile.
Spiders also produce silk, quite skillfully from their nether regions. Spider silk is even superior to the kind from worms, but until recently spider farms have not worked out well.
Unlike silk worms, spiders tend to fight for territory and sometimes eat each other. A Mad Max scenario quickly evolves and no silk spinning gets accomplished.
But a new company called Bolt Threads has found a way to get the silk without using spiders at all, and their revolutionary method may transform the fabric industry.
Scientists at the company have developed a method using bioengineered yeast cells to produce the necessary protein.
Bolt is considering many uses for this fantastic new fabric, and is able to use genetic engineering to alter qualities in the fabric itself. For example, by modifying the protein sequence features such as softness, durability, and strength can be reduced or enhanced.