Arachnid Art

Spider-Spun Gold Silk Shimmers at Museum of Natural History

What could be cooler than 1 million spiders spinning silk into a beautiful golden textile? The art of spider-spun silk in Madagascar dates back to 1710, but wasn’t active for a century, until five years ago, when British art historian Simon Peers and American fashion designer Nicholas Godley began harvesting female spiders and using them to create silk. The result of the last several years of labor is what the American Museum of Natural History says is the first hand-woven textile made completely from spider silk. The gold, 11-foot-long cloth, which cost more than half a million dollars to make, will be on display in the museum’s Grand Gallery for the next six months.