golden orb spider silk cape by godley & peers
golden orb spider silk cape by godley & peers 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

  • wow…………………………………………………………………..

    DBSN says:
  • After reading the article, I’m getting the idea that this project has no intention of benefiting or helping to protect the rainforest in Madagascar where the fiber was produced 🙁 Please tell me I’m wrong. This is a big opportunity for a fundraiser to decrease habitat destruction, or a call for policy changes… anything! I hope I’m wrong, otherise…. what a waste.

    Theresa SF says:
  • Happy to see people employed, being creative, making beautiful things, using natural resources to benefit mankind, and making some loot to boot.

    MLFreitas, Northern CA USA says:

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