Spider silk is a protein fibre spun by spiders. Spiders use their silk to make webs or other structures, which function as sticky nets to catch other animals, or as nests or cocoons to protect their offspring, or to wrap up prey. Spider silk is also one of the design industry's biggest—and most elusive—material obsessions because it's naturally lightweight, stretchy, antimicrobial, and strong.
Year to year we've been told that soon, we will wear garments made from this wonder material, and even see it in medical applications. However, last we heard it was in research and yet to hit the consumer market.
But, Bay Area biotech company Bolt Threads launching a limited-edition synthetic spider silk tie. You'd never guess that the tie was made in an industrial lab by the appearance or feel. It looks like a fashionable Bouclé knit you'd find in a GQ spread.
Only 50 ties are being made by Bolt Threads each available at a cost of $314. And if a prospective buyer is ready to shell out that sum, they'll have to enter a lottery for the chance to buy one.
"This marks the end of a chapter of this technology where it was all research," Dan Widmaier, Bolt Threads' CEO, says. "I see the ability to put out a fully baked, commercial product as marking the moment where were ready and able to make cooler products."