Brother Phil and I were on the porch the other day, and the topic swung round to the amazing mechanical strength of spider web. He bumped into something about some piece of clothing that had been made from the stuff. After talking about it for a while, it hit me that I didn’t actually know what I was talking about. Thus, for the last episode of 2020, we dig into the topic of regular silk, spiders, and spider silk.
Happy holidays, and we’ll see you again on January 14, 2021.
Here’s a rather technical article on how spiders spin their silk.
Here’s an article about attempts to create artificial spider silk.
Here’s a video about how a team actually made a cape from spider webs.
Here’s an article about the earliest evidence of humans making and using silk, from caterpillars though, not spiders.
Here’s something about how good old-fashioned silkworm silk is made.
Here’s an article about the oldest spider web from the fossil record.
Here’s an article that talks about the earliest spiders, and how they’ve developed since then.
Here’s an article about the incredible webs built by the Darwin’s bark spider.
Turns out that regular silk can be strong enough to stop bullets.
Here’s an article and podcast episode about an all silk bullet proof vest demonstrated in 1891.
Here’s another video about the cape made from spider silk.
And lastly, here are a couple of links about some attempts to make artificial spider silk.