The production of this wondrous golden cape isn’t new, but the story was new to us, and seemed too amazing not to share.
Made over the course of 8 years, this gorgeous golden cape was painstakingly sewed by hand, from the silk of over a million Golden Orb-Weaver spiders. Collected in the highlands of Madagascar, the spiders had their silk carefully extracted, before being let go into their natural habitat.
24 spiders had their silk harvested at one time, creating a strong thread that was then woven on a traditional loom. The fine silk that they produced wasn’t altered in any manner, showcasing the gorgeous golden color that is natural and strong.
The creation of the cape required the work of over 80 people, who assisted in the harvesting of the silk and also of the weaving, which resulted in the intricate patterns and details of the garment. Patterns of spiders are elegantly included on the cape, which showcases an incredible skill and quality.
The fascinating project was spearheaded by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley, who have lived in Madagascar for several years. The final garment went on display at the famous V&A Museum in London.
We appreciate the audacity of this undertaking, and also the way it celebrates this amazing animal, one that is often seen as scary or creepy.
Photos by David Levene of the Guardian.
“On average, 23,000 spiders yield around one ounce of silk. It is a highly labour-intensive undertaking, making these textiles extraordinarily rare and precious objects.”