There’s a new tie on the market and it’s bringing a new meaning to arachnophobia.
Now the tie doesn’t come with spiders, but those creepy little buggers did contribute to the making of the accessory. Bolt Threads, a materials science startup, is pushing the envelope with this new tie spun from the same material spiders spin from you know where. The only difference is that the thread used in the tie was mass produced from fermented microbial poop, according to TechCrunch.
This is news to us, but the startup has apparently been working on this for years and has raised about $90 million in funding. They even have a spider silk factory that uses microbugs. Ew.
The startup’s goal is to create all kinds of clothing made of this lovely material and others like it that have been fermented in their lab.
My first thought was that someone would have to pay ME to wear spider silk, never mind the other way around. But apparently some are willing to shell out over 300 bucks to have this wrapped around their neck in the form of a tie. And the fact that it’s one of the softest materials in the world, but still durable doesn’t tip the scales for me at all.
It’s rare, you say? Listen, there is no way that’s going to be a selling point for long when people learn why. You see, when in possession of these critters, you have to work quickly before they start to eat each other.
But not to worry, there are other ways to get this material. Canadian scientists reportedly discovered that genetically mutated goats would also produce the silk. Talk about milking it. But they realized that the goats took up too much space and took too long to create the silk, TechCrunch reported.
So, how long was that exactly? Because the spider tie took 7 years.
However, it turns out that time to test and raise money was included in that 7-year time frame. Founder of the startup Dan Widmaier told TechCrunch that his team made the second tie in about 60 days. And they hope to become faster.
Here’s how it goes down. Bolt ferments corn with CRISPR’d yeast, which ejects a protein that matches the protein in spider silk. A machine spins the protein into a fiber the way a spider would.
TechCrunch took to Twitter to share the news of the ties debut:
Bolt Threads debuts its first product, a $314 tie made from spiderwebs https://t.co/r4i1kcJBzw by @sarahbuhr
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) March 10, 2017
There are only 50 limited edition ties available right now and they’re going to sell for about $314 each. You have to win a lottery to buy the, apparently, coveted item. You can sign up for the lottery starting on March 11, head over to their site to enter.
Widmaier told TechCrunch that he has plans to make more products like the tie and he’s already produced over 2,000 materials using a similar process.
Stay tuned, if you dare.