Cape made of silk extracted from spiders to go on display
Tuesday 24 January 2012
A cape created from golden silk spun by more than a million spiders is going on display this week.
The hand-woven garment is being shown at London's Victoria and Albert Museum alongside the Golden Spider Silk, a four-metre long piece of brocaded fabric.
It took more than four years to make the items from the silk of 1.2 million female golden orb spiders, native to Madagascar.
They have been made by Englishman Simon Peers, who lives in Madagascar, and American Nicholas Godley, and are the only large textiles in the world to have been made from spider silk.
Mr Peers said: "We were keen to show the spider silk textiles at the V&A, being the most appropriate place to premiere this work in Europe.
"The unique and historic costume and textile collections have been a constant source of inspiration over the years. As far as we know the V&A has never before shown anything made from spider silk, despite its diverse collections of art and decorative arts.
"So we are pleased and very proud to be adding a first to a museum with such a rich, long and illustrious history, and would like to think that we in turn can be an inspiration to others."
Spiders are collected every morning before silk is extracted from them by trained handlers. They are not harmed in the process and are returned to the wild at the end of each day.
The last known spider silk textile was made for an exhibition in Paris in 1900 but no examples remain.
Life & Style blogs
Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Boxing Day sales: From Asos to Harrods, the best fashion deals
Victoria Beckham's clothing sales double to £30 million in one year
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...