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What is Spider Silk?

Posted on 2 October 2019

Next time you see a spider web, make sure you examine the tiny strings that the web is made up of. Did you know that these fibres are actually called spider silk? And that it’s one of the strongest materials on Earth? 

Spider silk is a type of fibre that’s secreted by spiders (meaning they produce it from their bodies). They use it to form spider webs, which are designed to protect their babies and trap prey. Spiders are also able to dangle from their webs using their silk, which helps them catch more food. 

Spiders can make lots of different types of silks that have unique properties. For example, a spider web might contain at least four varieties of silk, each one providing its own quality, like strength or flexibility. 

The most amazing fact is that spider silk is the strongest naturally-occurring fibre that scientists know of. In fact, it’s almost as strong as high-quality steel. Maybe the Knowbots should start reinforcing themselves with spider silk!