Everyone knows that spider-silk is some crazy-strong stuff. Apparently there is a company, Bolt Threads, that has managed to produce a really close synthetic version, through process I will leave to Gear Patrol to describe:
Making synthetic spider silk involves several simple ingredients and very meticulous science. Sugar, water, and yeast cells infused with spider DNA are combined and left to ferment in large stainless-steel tanks. The mixture is then centrifuged, purified into a powder and mixed with a solvent. The resulting liquid silk protein, which looks like glue, is in the same natural state as the liquid protein that actual spiders extrude from their silk glands and then form into fiber. Instead of using spiders, however, Bolt Threads has a system of devices that turn this silk protein into long continuous filaments of synthetic spider silk. Then comes the interesting part: figuring out what to make with this potentially revolutionary fiber.
I actually missed the industry announcement that Bolt Threads actually purchased Best Made Company not long ago, and began to test market a few items featuring their “Microsilk” material. The latest release is a special run of Chris Reeve Nyala fixed-blade knives, with textured Microsilk scales.
To integrate Microsilk, a synthetic bioengineered arachnid fiber developed by Bolt Threads, into a pocket knife, the company turned the material into a composite and with that, created a handle. The knife itself is Chris Reeve’s Nyala, a contemporary take on a fixed-blade skinner and utility blade. It’s 8.5-inches long with a full-tang drop-point blade made of Crucible S35VN steel and weighs 5.96 ounces. The Nyala comes with a lanyard attached to the handle and a leather sheath for multiple styles of carrying.
Cool stuff, but with a $500 price tag, I will stick to Micarta.