This interesting article explains how an amazing number of golden orb spiders were collected from telephone poles in Madagascar to produce enough Spider Silk fiber to weave this 11 foot x 4 foot textile.
Spider Silk has higher tensile strength than Kevlar or Steel and over 40% tensile elongation, which would make it an extremely interesting fiber for ballistics, aerospace, and other composites applications.
Unfortunately, over 14,000 spiders are required to generate one ounce of silk. (This fabric weighs over 2.6 pounds, meaning that over 1 million female spiders were silked in the process.) To date no one has been successful at generating a synthetic process which duplicates the transformation which goes in in the spider’s spinnerets, where physical force is used to transform liquid protein into solid silk.
I need to get our AGY scientists right on this one!!