golden orb spider silk cape by godley & peers
jan 25, 2012
golden orb spider silk cape by godley & peers


‘golden spider silk cape’ by nicholas godley and simon peers
© V&A images
all images courtesy of the victoria & albert museum

the victoria & albert museum (V&A) in london presents a showcase of the world’s largest piece of cloth made from spider silk.
created by godley & peers (simon peers, textile artist and nicholas godley, entrepreneur) the golden cape took eight years to develop,
using the silk of more than one million female golden orb-weaver spiders that were collected in the highlands of madagascar.
each morning the spiders were removed from their webs, whereby the threads they produced were then extracted by hand.
once this 20 minute process was complete, the eight-legged creatures were then returned to nature. approximately 1.5 kg
of the resulting silk was used to produce the work.

the vibrancy of the garment is natural, and has not been modified or dealt with by godley and peers –
the arachnids’ threads are naturally of this golden intensity. hand-woven on looms, the resulting brocade cape is embellished
with floral and spider details.  the ‘golden spider silk’ cape is on show at the V&A until june 5th, 2012.


detail
simon peers and nicholas godley at peers workshop antananarivo, madagascar
© V&A images


fabric with spider and floral
details
© V&A images


modelling the cape
© V&A images


the golden orb spider
image © john brown


golden orb spider weaver
image © john brown


spider silk being woven
image © john brown


golden spider silk hand-woven brocaded textile
image courtesy simon peers and nicholas godley


the alpaida latro spider held in place for silk extraction
raimondo maria de termeyer, opuscoli scientifici d’entomologia di fiscia e d’agricoltura dell’abate, milan, vol.1, plate vi. 1807
simon peers collection

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