All About Japan

Outerwear Made from Synthetic Spider Silk


The Moon Parka is the result of 11 years of technological innovation and investment, 10 design iterations and 656 gene synthesis designs. The main barrier, says Yamagata-based Spiber, was synthetically producing spider silk that was economically feasible.

To create its artificial spider silk fiber called Qmonos (from the Japanese word kumonosu, meaning spider web), the company used a fermentation process that involved microorganisms manufacturing recombinant proteins. This was not cheap. But Spiber has made remarkable progress, and the cost is now 1/53,000 of what it was in 2008.

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