Chance to Own World’s First Bioengineered Spider Silk Tie
Bioengineered spider silk might not sound very fashionable, but the resulting products are. If you’ve been following our Material Matters series, you know that innovations in textiles are having their moment. This week, tech and fashion collided when Bolt Threads, a San Francisco-based start-up working on the next generation of advanced materials, unveiled a limited edition knit necktie, made of its 100% Boltspun spider silk at SXSW. Using the company’s proprietary technology, the unisex tie is the culmination of seven years and over 200 person-years of research and design, and embodies the company’s mission to produce sustainable performance fabrics for commercial use.
Co-founded in 2009 by CEO Dan Widmaier, Chief Scientific Officer David Breslauer, and Vice President of Operations Ethan Mirsky, Bolt Threads was born out of a curiosity about natural spider silk and the idea of engineering novel protein materials. Through its proprietary technology, the company has developed a way to closely mimic silk created in nature for mass commercial production, pioneering more sustainable and non-toxic processes for textile manufacturing.
Following its launch from stealth in 2015, Bolt Threads has continued to pique the interest of investors and partners alike. Last year, the company announced a $50 million round in Series C funding, along with a partnership with outdoor retailer Patagonia.
Shares Dan Widmaier, CEO at Bolt Threads,
We wanted to demonstrate the reality of a completely new way of manufacturing textiles, one that has nearly unlimited potential for innovation and also produces a sustainable product. Over the past seven years, a team of dozens of scientists, engineers, technicians, and designers has worked tirelessly to get us to this milestone. We’re proud and excited about this achievement and what it means for the future of textile production. Bolt’s first product is a precursor of what’s to come.
Bolt Threads is releasing 50 limited edition synthetic spider silk neckties, which will be made available to the public to purchase on March 11. Ties will be sold on the company’s website via a lottery, which opened on March 11 and closes on March 14. Winners of the lottery will be able to purchase a Boltspun silk tie and own a piece of history.