Oh, those things that are never more than 6 feet away from us -- no matter where we are. We're talking those silent creepy crawlers, most of which spin webs -- spiders!
In 2009 a unique cloth was created by "milking" over one million "wild" golden orb spiders -- taking some 70 people, and 4 years to do so -- to create an 11x4 foot textile (it was on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City). The fabric is reported to be very elastic and so strong it is is compared to steel! They call it "spider silk." You can read the 2009 article, as well as see the "spid-y" fabric here.
And this is not the first time spider silk has been woven into a textile! The first time, based upon the AMNH Video, was in the early 1900s, with the completed work placed on exhibit in Paris. Since that time the textile was lost!
Now, as reported in the January 2011 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine, scientists at the University of Notre Dame, and at the University of Wyoming, are genetically engineering silkworms to incorporate spider DNA to make "super-strong silk." My guess they're looking to make the spider silk more affordable by being able to mass produce it through the use of silkworms.
My question is, what if they mess up like they did with the bees? What are your thoughts on this? Would you crochet or knit with spider silk?