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Talk about extreme craft! This gorgeous textile is an 11-foot-long weaving made from spider silk, specifically the golden orb spider of Madagascar. The story of how it was made is fascinating and well worth reading (a few tidbits: the saffron color is the undyed color of the spider silk, the threads have five times the strength of steel by weight, and it took more than one million spiders to make the cloth). The weaving will be on display in the American Museum of Natural History for the next six months, so if you’re on the east coast, you should go look! Check out the New York Times article for more details on the history of humans using spider silk and how this particular piece was made. It’s an amazing account that lives at the intersection of tradition and technology, science and art, craft and craziness.


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Comments

  1. Laurel says:

    I lived in Madagascar for a while. These spiders are terrifying! Even though they aren’t poisonous, they sure look like it. They are huge too. In 9th grade my science teacher decided we would do a biology project with them so she got 3 and put them in a glass cage to study. After we were done they got loose and made themselves comfortable in the room. You were never quite sure if one was going to be hiding under your stool or table. The class was often punctuated by short screams or starts when they decided to crawl out at random intervals. Very cool project though. That yellow is quite beautiful!

  2. Anon. says:

    We have those spiders here in South Florida. Their webs really are golden in color. People here repeat the info about the web being stronger than steel. Thanks for sharing the article.