I've just finished reading a fascinating newspaper article about a new fiber. Bamboo? Milk fiber? Sugarcane? These are all fairly new fibers out on the market, and I'm eager to get my hands on some of that sugarcane. I've tried a cotton and milk fiber blend, but I've seen some 100% milk fiber on Ravelry that looks super scrumptious. But this fiber is spun from the silk of...no, not butterflies,...spiders! Specifically, golden orb spiders from Madagascar. The article had a picture of some of the spiders, not thrilling. But also a picture of the lovely fabric that was woven from the spun silk. The rectangle of fabric is a lovely golden-yellow, natural not dyed; and shows an intricately woven design. The article goes into detail about the spiders, their silk and the spinning process. By weight the thread is 5 to 6 times stronger than steel!! No broken threads, no knots discovered in the middle of crocheting your doily. Well, I can dream, can't I?
I've included a link to the article, but I fear that you may need to register with the website in order to read the article and see the pictures. And even then, the article will probably will available for a very limited time.
The cloth, though, is on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Anyone feel that a field trip is in order?
edited to add: Thank you National Geographic! Here is another article and several more photos of the beautiful fiber:
"National Geographic article"