In the London Albert and Victoria Museum at the exhibition, which took place from 25.02. - 05.05.2012, a real masterpiece of weaving and art was presented to the world, as well as a new modern approach to ancient technologies. This extraordinary and delightful work of art is created from solid "golden" threads produced by orb weaving spiders (golden webs) in Madagascar.
Silk was harvested for more than 8 years, during that time more than 1, 2 million were used. It should be noted that these were spiders, since only they can produce these threads. And the process of making the dress lasted more than 4 years. About 80 people took part in its production. The mantle weighs one and a half kilograms, and in order to get 25 grams of the necessary silk, a web of about 23 thousand spiders was needed. It looks impressive, especially in this day and age where everyone wants to get things done quickly and effortlessly.
It is also interesting that the spiders were collected by hand and with the help of a special apparatus specially trained people took silk threads from them for 20 minutes.In addition, the manufacturers claim that no harm was done to nature, since then the spiders were released back into the wild, in integrity and safety. The collected threads were connected on a loom and received a cloth. In addition, only men spun and embroidered fabric! The dress is also delightful for its color. This is the real golden color of the web! The spider web dress is very lightweight and extremely durable.
The creators of the dress are American Nicholas Godley and Briton Simon Pierce, who live
in Madagascar. This work was inspired by 19th century recordings and illustrations of an extraordinary royal spider silk dress, and in 2004 they began to work. In 2009, they opened an exhibition, which showed an amazing golden canvas made of spider silk measuring 3.4 meters by 1.2 meters. This exhibition aroused great interest and excitement among visitors, breaking all records for attendance at museums and exhibitions. And now we have before us their new unforgettable work - a mantle (dress, some call it a cape), decorated with luxurious embroidery. “We really wanted to do something that no one in the world has ever done before, ” they say about their masterpiece. It is currently the largest spider silk product in the world. In addition, natural fabrics have always been valued dearly and highly, so what can we say about the cost of a truly golden linen.
As for the spider silk fabric, the story is as follows. For the first time, in 1709, the Frenchman François-Xavier Bon de Saint-Heeler showed that it was possible to twist threads from spider silk. He boiled spider cocoons, combed them with combs and made socks, gloves, and, presumably, a complete costume for King Louis 14. Then, in the 19th century, it was discovered that spider webs obtained directly from spiders allowed for the creation of higher quality silk. There was even a special device for collecting spider webs. The last spider silk fabric ever mentioned was created in the 19th century for the Universelle exhibition in Paris. In 1900, at the World's Fair in Paris, a canopy made of spider silk could be seen. Unfortunately, it was lost, and no one has been involved in the production of such silk to this day.
Given the complexity of production, spider silk is unlikely to ever be generally available. Therefore, we can only admire the unique works of art from the outside and wait for discoveries from scientists who are working on creating threads, the properties of which will be similar to those of a spider web.