Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley | Dezeen

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

A golden cape woven from the silk of over a million wild spiders is on show at the V&A museum in London.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

Working in Madagascar, Simon Peers from the UK and Nicholas Godley from the USA created a hand-operated machine for harvesting silk from the spiders based on a design from over 100 years ago.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

Golden orb spiders were collected from the wild, harnessed to the machine so the silk could be extracted and set free again at the end of each day.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

It takes about one week for the spiders to regenerate their silk so the same spiders can be used again and again.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

23,000 spiders are needed to create about 28g of silk, which is naturally golden in colour.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

The display also includes a four metre-long piece of fabric woven from the same spider silk and is on show at the museum until 5 June 2012.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

See a scarf made by silk worms crawling across pieces of card in our earlier story.

Spider-silk cape by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

Here are some more details from the V&A museum:


The only large textiles in the world to have been created from the silk of spiders will go on display at the V&A in January 2012.

The four metre long woven textile was made from the silk of more than a million female Golden Orb spiders collected in the highlands of Madagascar. The hand-woven brocaded textile is naturally golden in colour and took over four years to create. It will be shown together with a new golden cape, woven and embroidered in Madagascar, which will go on public display for the very first time at the V&A.