Bolt Thread believes that the answers to our problems can be found in nature. They are inspired everyday by the amazing materials they can work with and has a desire to turn these materials into incredible products. Can you imagine wearing a tie made from spider webs? Well, you can wear one now. Bolt Thread has just launched its first product that is made from spider webs. Spiders create silk fibers with an outstanding material that includes high tensile strength, elasticity, durability and softness. So, the company has developed a technology that can mass-produced the thread with the same material that spider spin out. It is said to have the toughest and softest material in the world.
If you are asking if there are spiders in the process, the answer is NO! No Spiders are harmed in making the cloth. The technology today has the capability to study real spider silk and compare it to the characteristics of the fibers they make. The process is sure to speed up as Bolt increases manufacturing, but the production part is kind of interesting to note. Bolt makes the ties in a similar way one might brew beer or make whiskey. As Widmaier explains, you get some corn, ferment it with the engineered yeast and then let them expel a protein identical to that of spider silk. Then a machine spins the protein into a fine fiber the way a spider butt would normally do and you get a ton of spider silk.
Have you ever thought about why the company chooses to make a tie? Because a tie is a basic part of a man’s wardrobe that people buy for looks so in order for the company to flaunt its material that is why they choose to make a tie. The hard part isn’t actually designing the garments, since these biomaterials are intended to replace fabrics like polyester, nylon, and Lycra. The challenge for the company—and for mainstreaming synthetic biomaterials generally—is in bringing down price and while boosting scale. In trying to tackle that essential part of making commercially viable biomaterials, the company chose to focus on infrastructure rather than investing R&D in a technically ambitious prototype that would never make it to market.
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So even though a tie is not practically as challenging to make as an apparel, what is important is that the buyer would feel hot great the fabric is, how nice and malleable it is, and how it brings out the color. Wondering how much the tie would cost? It costs $314 each. It is quite a reasonable price considering the process and the material that is used. It is just like buying a tie in Nordstrom that costs $285 each. The company has only made 50 “limited edition” neckties. So, be sure to get your hands on one of these anytime soon or else you will have to sign up and order thru the company’s website.