INDUSTRY BENEFITS FROM SYNTHETIC SILK

A Japanese fibre technology company has developed a process of creating synthetic spider silk that is set to be used for a special jacket retailed by North Face.

The company, Spiber, which has partnered with Japanese sports apparel maker Goldwin Inc, was founded by scientist Kazuhide Sekiyama who in his final year at university focussed his studies on the superpowers of spider silk.

Unlike nylon and polyester, spider thread is not derived from petroleum, and does not release a large volume of carbon dioxides in the manufacturing process, making it a more sustainable option.

North Face will utilise the new technology in its Moon Parka which will be available in the fashion-forward Japanese district of Harajuku.

Spiber is not the only company researching synthetic silk however, with Californian based Bolt Threads Inc also showcasing its ability to produce various kinds of synthetic silk as well as spider.

"The global market for textiles is $3 trillion, and we believe there is a huge opportunity for sustainably produced protein microfibers. In order to succeed, companies need to be able to bring a wide range of advanced materials to market at a price that's competitive with today's fibers," said Dan Widmaier, chief executive officer, Bolt Threads.