There might be something revolutionary coming onto the shelves and hangers at your local store - synthetic fibers that the creators, Bolt Threads, compare to the web that is fired from Spider-Man's wrists.
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The California based startup claims that they have cracked the trick to making synthetized silk that has the potential to be stronger than steel, stretchier than rubber, and more long lasting than cotton. The company emulates the products that one would find in spider silk and uses it to make clothing. Previous efforts have included 3D printed clothing that was sprayed onto molds. The results would have been far too expensive and difficult to product on a continuing range, however.
It is too difficult to farm spiders because they eat each other and don't play nicely, so that isn't a viable option.
The team at Bolt believe that they have cracked the problems, and the result should be in stores soon.
According to an interview with C Net, Bolt co-founder Dan Widmaier said that Bolt was going to start working with well-known companies so that the clothes, which will still likely cost quite a bit of money, will reach a wider customer base. As the brand becomes more popular, the prices should become more affordable.
To create its fabric, Bolt uses yeast to create the silk protein and then adjust the ingredients to shape the finish product. The company is very much in control of almost everything they do, from the purchasing of corn to the designs of the clothing.
Widmaier also said that the production will be easier on the government, making the clothing a great choice for those trying to live green.
While it remains to be seen if Bolt can be a viable business, what they have already achieved from a scientific standpoint is great. Making clothing for different people, especially waterproofing is "where it gets interesting," according to Widmaier, "is when we start combining those properties."
There is virtually no end in sight for what could come from the use of the product in clothing.
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So maybe it isn't exactly like Spider-Man's wrists, but it is definitely something pretty cool.