It’s not quite the Spider-Man fantasy you once held, but your wardrobe is about to get an arachnoid flair.
Bolt Threads, a San Francisco-based startup, has just released their BoltSpun spider silk tie. Now, this is (trademarked) Engineered Silk, so it’s not using actual spider DNA. But it does replicate that creature's natural silk proteins.
In a way, the whole engineering process is more like brewing. “Our yeast produce silk protein in a liquid form during fermentation — very much like the beer-making process,” notes the Bolt Threads site. “After some processing, the liquid silk protein can be turned into fiber through wet-spinning, which is the same way fibers like acrylic and rayon are made.”
The whole spider silk process was actually five years in the making, born from research Bolt Threads CEO Dan Widmaier was doing for his PhD on spider silk as a Kevlar replacement in bulletproof vests. The result is a noticeably more dynamic material. In fact, spider silk is a high-performance superfabric billed as being stronger than steel, more elastic than spandex and softer than wool. The process for creating the silk is also considerably more sustainable than normal textiles. And, bonus, it’s made in the USA.
Bolt’s first product, a fairly hip deep blue tie, is only being made in a limited batch of 50. Starting at $314.15, you actually have to enter a lottery to actually have a chance to buy it (the drawing ends on Tuesday, March 14).
Best of luck.