Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, developer of spider silk based fibres, is scaling up production of its second generation Dragon Silk. This new material was specially designed at Kraig Labs’ Michigan research headquarters for application in protective textiles, where increased strength and decreased flexibility are expected to provide improved protection.
Scale up of Dragon Silk 2.0 is well underway, with the production team already raising tens of thousands of the new transgenic silkworms at the company’s US based pilot production facility. Over the next 30 days, Kraig Labs anticipates scaling up production volumes of this new silkworm strain into the millions, as it prepares to create the first silk threads and fabrics made of this next generation recombinant spider silk.
Further, the company is laying the groundwork to partner with experts in multicomponent thread design and spinning, to develop new specialty threads blending the performance spider silk with other traditional materials. This work is expected to develop threads and fabrics focused specifically on products for the performance wear and other closely linked market segments.
“The ability to rapidly scale up this newly announced material, from initial testing to pilot scale production, is a major differentiator in our approach, which utilises silkworms and the existing global silk infrastructure,” said COO, Jon Rice. “The current global infrastructure, equipment and skilled labour, is able to produce more than 150,000 metric tons of conventional silk per year. Our recombinant spider silk silkworm technology is a direct drop-in replacement for traditional silkworms and allows us to move quickly, with minimal investment, to bring new products to market.”
Future scale up of Dragon Silk 2.0, as well as the company’s other lines of recombinant spider silk silkworms, is expected to be transferred to the company’s subsidiary Prodigy Textiles and its operations in Vietnam, while the company’s US facility remains focused on the development of next generation materials. (SV)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India