During the summer months, spider webs cover every corner, and every open space of my yard. These webs are humongous, the largest ones being about 5 feet wide. The webs I encounter in my garden are webs are from several kinds of Orb spiders. None of the spiders that build the giant webs in my garden are poisonous. This is lucky for me, because I have walked into countless numbers of webs.

I have also encountered many abandoned webs, which gave me the idea of harvesting these out-of-use webs for their silk. Having walked into so many webs, I know how unbelievably strong and stretchy their threads are. Spider silk, in fact, is the strongest fiber ever discovered. Spider silk is stronger than steel, for its diameter; that is, a thread of steel would be weaker than a thread of spider silk of the same size.

Scientists have been working on how to entirely artificially duplicate spider silk in the lab for a while, but have not yet been able to make the silk entirely without spiders. I have included some websites of some recent research on the subject at the end of the instructable.

In this instructable, I will show I how I harvested abandoned webs and turned them into threads that I could use to sew.

Step 1: Understand which species make the right webs

Where I live, in southern North Carolina in the USA, there are about four types of spiders that make good webs for collecting:

1) golden orb spider,
2) black and yellow orb spider,
3) crab orb spider, 
4) orchard spider

All of these build large, regular orb shaped webs, with strong fibers. None of these spiders are dangerous, but I recommend avoiding their bites anyway, because it could be painful, and there may be those who are allergic to their bites. I have never heard of anyone being allergic to orb spiders, but it's not impossible. Also, if you got close enough to one of these spiders to actually get bit by it, you were probably seriously annoying it (I have actually poked a giant golden orb spider once to show my uncle that it was harmless).

Before collecting webs from any spider, please make sure you know what kind of spider it is. There are poisonous spiders in the USA. Outside the USA, I cannot speak with authority about the kinds of spiders, so you should do you own research about spiders before collecting their webs. Especially in Australia (home of the most poisonous spider in the world)! In the USA there are two web building spiders that have a deadly venom, and should be avoided at all costs:

1) The black widow (and brown widow) spider
2)The brown recluse

I have not seen these in my yard, but I have avoided their habitats on purpose. The picture I have of them are not mine, because I did not want to stick my face in them to take their pictures. Luckily, these spider's webs look completely different than the four spiders I mentioned earlier. While the four spiders I mentioned all build webs in the open, above ground, and in regular orb shapes,the poisonous spiders build irregular webs in piles of wood, rocks, bricks, and other things. These spiders are often found in garages, for instance, or firewood piles. I will say it again that these spiders are very dangerous! If you are bit by one ever, go to the emergency room!

I have included pictures of the spiders I mentioned, and their webs.


<p>how much can one of these threads hold in weight?</p>
<p>Iis this spider silk sticky?</p>
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<p>http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-16554357<br>Spidergoat<br>Never underestimate the mad scientists.</p>
<p>A spider web farm would be awesome,but sadly spiders get cannabalistic when near other spiders. They are very aggressive. </p><p>http://www.dar-elsafwa.com/</p>
<p>Would daddy long-leg spider webs work?</p><p>http://www.nirity.co</p>
<p>You want to get webs that are strong even in a single strand.</p><p>Real grand daddy long leg webs' are weak and only gathered in small amounts.</p>
<p>I someone wants to buy spider silk, I know of a location that has hundreds of webs. I do not know the current condition of the webs because they are not very protected from the elements. Tell how much you want and what it is worth to you and will see if we can make it happen. I do not know how we will determine the amount of web material we will end up with. You would also have to determine how you want it harvested- all in a ball or wound around something. Only about one in five webs were active last time I was there. I did not ID the spider making the webs. </p>
<p>Hi I'm doing a project where I'm building Spiderman's web shooters so I was wondering if you sell this thread or if you know where I can buy some. I'd really appreciate the help thank you.</p>
<p>A spider web farm would be awesome,but sadly spiders get cannabalistic when near other spiders. They are very aggressive.</p>
<p>A spider web farm would be awesome,but sadly spiders get cannabalistic when near other spiders. They are very aggressive.</p>
<p>A spider web farm would be awesome,but sadly spiders get cannabalistic when near other spiders. They are very aggressive.</p>
<p>A spider web farm would be awesome,but sadly spiders get cannabalistic when near other spiders. They are very aggressive.</p>
Wow. This is gorgeous! I never knew that you could make thread from spider webs! Too bad I don't live anywhere near a place where the spiders you listed live.
This is hands down the most interesting instructable I have ever seen, It's well done and I learned a lot from it! : D <br>
hey wow could you go and cath spiders and begin a spider web farm
yeah it would be fun
I think ticks should be added to the arachnid list because they have 8 legs too.
No need to add them, they're already there. Ticks, and all other mites are arachnids. You had the right idea.<br>-Z.
here is something creepy in a lab on a farm in Sweden they are making a goat that u can milk and it has milk and spider silk..............MILK SILK ANYONE!!!
I think I remember hearing about that! It makes NO SENSE!
I've seen "spider goats" at Purdue University. It actually makes a lot of sense. It's come a long way in a past several years. The milk is still "drinkable". The silk protein doesn't present as a fiber in the milk, it needs a chemical catalyst to be extracted. The goats have a number of advantages, they don't bite(well not like spiders do), they are easier to milk than spiders, they don't eat each other and they are still useful for things that goats are useful for. The process is still pretty young as technologies go but there's a lot of promise in it.
ya i really want one of the spider goats<br>
Haha. I saw a documentary about that a few years ago. They would extract the silk proteins from the milk of the genetically modified goats or something like that. It was less productive than pulling the web right out of the spiders. But I guess the crazy scientists scientists just wanna have fun.
You should see the size of a camel spider they are massive! I'm not sure if they make webs though?
No they don't, they're not actually spiders. They're more closely related to scorpions. No web at all.
srry said spider meant arachnid not spider srry they are in the same order as the spider and the scorpion which makes it no more closely related to either <br>
I bet that if you were to weave a friendship bracelet out of spider's silk, it would last for YEEEEEEARS. Some of the strongest stuff is said to be 10 times the strength of Kevlar. That's awesome.
It's kinda nice knowing that here in Michigan all I have to worry about is the brown recluse (which is not native to Michigan as it comes in with wood shipments), and the northern black widow (which sadly, is native to Michigan). Other than those two species, there isn't really any interesting species of arachnid here
Yeah, but New Zealand is even better: no spiders that could hurt anything bigger than a rabbit (if that). Plus, no snakes or other bitey things!
your wrong about that.there are poisonous spiders in New Zealand, three species to be exact.the kapito ,white- tailed and red back spiders. 1.red back bites can cause severe pain, aches and profuse sweating. 2.kapito bites may lead to severe pain around the bite area and possible muscle cramps. 3.A White-tailed spider bite usually leads to severe pain and swelling around the bite area, but there are no long-lasting effects. and yes you are right about the snakes and other &quot;bitey&quot; things&quot;
But aren't there mosquitoes? They can kill!

About This Instructable




Bio: College graduate with a degree in religious studies, and an engineering major drop out.
More by Persona:Mechanical Claw Ring How to make Spider Silk Thread The Uranium Rosary 
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