The world’s largest textile made exclusively from spider silk, this cape will be on display at the Royal Ontario Museum’s new exhibition, Spiders: Fear and Fascination. The garment was handwoven and embroidered using the silk from 1.2 million female golden-orb weaver spiders (Nephila madagascariensis) from Madagascar, and took three years to create. Its iridescent, golden sheen is entirely natural. After being plucked in wilderness by 80 people, two dozen spiders are simultaneously harnessed to a silk extraction machine. Each spider produces 30 to 50 metres of thread – a process that takes about 25 minutes. Once the job is done, the spider scuttles back to nature.
Spiders: Fear and Fascination runs at the ROM in Toronto from June 16, 2018 to Jan. 6, 2019 (rom.on.ca).