A Bay Area startup is giving spiders and silkworms a run for their money. Bolt Threads, which announced a new $40 million round funding on Thursday, has developed a synthetic, “programmable” alternative to larval- or arachnid-produced silk. Engineered using proteins derived from yeast, the fibers can be manipulated to deliver any combination of softness, strength, and durability. They’re even machine-washable. “Think of the strength a delicate, pliable spiderweb must have to stop insects hurtling through the air,” Jim Kim and Tanguy Chau, members of the venture-capital group Formation 8, explained in a post on Wednesday. “Apply those properties to textiles, and you get a fabric with 100 times the strength of reinforced steel but that is as soft and flexible as the most comfortable fabrics.”
Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!