The North Face‘s new jacket design ‘The Moon Parka’, is the result of an over a decade long science experiment, inspired by the natural world, and the strength of spider’s webs. The outdoor outerwear brand wanted to create a synthetic spider silk which would emulate the strong, durable structure of the incredible insect’s web, and protect the wearer from harsh environments.
Spider silk is deceptively strong, proving to be more flexible than nylon and five times stronger than steel, so it’s no wonder that The North Face wanted to incorporate it into future practical outwear designs. Spider farming is not a possible option due to the amount of insects needed to produce adequate amounts of silk, so Japanese biomaterials company Spiber have been researching viable alternatives to the real thing.
‘Qmonos’ is the synthetic silk Spiber manufactures, having taken over eleven years to produce. As engineered cells, they can produce silk proteins on a mass scale, creating a web of opportunities for the fashion industry.