Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley, 2011
The four metre long woven textile was made from the silk of more than a million female Golden Orb spiders collected in the highlands of Madagascar. It took 80 people five years to collect the spiders, and the naturally golden hand-woven brocaded textile took over four years to create. According to experts at the Victoria and Albert Museum, spider’s silk has not been woven since 1900, when a textile was created for the Paris Exposition Universelle – but that no longer survives. This will be the first time spider silk has been exhibited in Europe since.
The earliest recorded weave using the silk of spiders dates from 1709, made by a Frenchman, Francois-Xavier Bon de Saint Hilaire, who successfully produced gloves and stockings and supposedly a full suit of clothes for King Louis XIV.