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Golden spider silk on display at UK's V&A Museum

24
Jan '12
The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London will be showcasing the world's largest pieces of cloth made from spider silk.

The display will include a brocaded shawl made from the silk of more than one million female golden orb-weaver spiders collected in the highlands of Madagascar, as well as a cape.

The public display of these items will be held for the first time from January 25 to June 5, 2012.

The two silk works that are to be on display have been created by Simon Peers, a textile artist who has lived in Madagascar for over two decades, and designer-entrepreneur Nicholas Godley.

When Godley set up a business in Madagascar, Peers came in touch with him, and the idea of reviving the extinct industry was born.

While the silk was extracted in Godley's workshops, handloom weavers in Peers' team weaved the two-metre shawl and a richly embroidered cape that has 1.5 kg of silk.

It took around five years for 80 people to collect enough silk required to make the spider silk textiles. It took another four years for weaving the shawl and cape.

The highly labour intensive nature of the work makes the spider silk textile very rare and valuable. It also makes it an unviable commercial proposition.



Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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