Golden Orb Spiders of Madagascar Weave Malagasy Motifs
Madagascar: the home of thousands of endemic species of flora and fauna, flourishing in the island that has been isolated for over 70 million years. As one of the largest islands in the world, Madagascar homes about 5% of our world’s animal and plant species, including unique species of lemurs, chameleons, butterflies, and foxes. While the rare and folkloric orb spiders can be found in some climates around south Africa, they are most prevalent in Madagascar, where their silk is used to weave stunning, Malagasy motifs.
Recently, a gorgeous, shimmering textured cape was produced out of the golden orb spiders’ webs, designed by textile artists Simon Peers and designer Nicholas Godley, who revived a fabric that has not been woven in more than a century.
Peers wanted to revive the ancient, ritualistic weaving that once thrived in Madagascar. To accomplish this task, Peers and Godley organized a silk harvesting operation, hiring locals to collect live female spiders in boxes, then pulling threads out of their spinnerets. These threads are braided, joined, and brocaded into the traditional textile that we see in Peers’ cape and other tribal prints.
Note: this is a guest post by Logan B. from JetCharteresDirect