Now biomaterials company Spiber and outdoor clothing manufacturer The North Face have joined forces to produce the Moon Parka, a jacket made from spider silk.
The Moon Parka is made from Spiber’s Qmonos fabric, a synthetic spider silk containing proteins that have been produced by bacteria with synthesised genes. Over 656 gene synthesis designs have been created during the decade of research conducted by Spiber, and the cost of producing the material is now 1/53,000 of what it once was, meaning the production is nearing commercial viability.
The prototype, based on The North Face’s existing Antarctica parka, is currently touring Japan. The American outdoor company hopes to put the Moon Parka into production as early as 2016, promising an earth-friendly alternative to petroleum based synthetic materials and possible applications in the medical and automotive industries.