Spider Silk   •   Introduction   •   Lamba   •   Taffeta Shawl   •   Satin Shawl   •   Cape   •   Press


(please note this cape will not be included in our Natural World exhibition)

Madagascar, 2011
141 x 130 cm

Warp: 96 threads
Weft: 192 threads
Lining warp: 48 threads
Lining weft: 96 threads
Weight: 1,888.8 grams


January 2012- June 2012: The Victoria & Albert Museum, London ‘Golden Spider Silk’

June 2018 – January 2019: The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto ‘Spiders, Fear and Fascination’

“…I think that this is one of the most extraordinary projects in the recent history of textiles and that this cape counts as the most beautiful and rare objects the V&A has ever exhibited.”
– Stephen Fry

This cape was the second major creation, it was completed in 2011 and used silk from 1,200,000 spiders. In addition to over two years of collecting, silking and weaving of the outer panels and the lining, about 6,000 hours of embroidery and appliqué were required to complete this work.

For Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley, who created this cape, the idea of being clothed in spider silk was a potent conceit. They felt that the spider’s method of entrapping and wrapping its prey in silk was a striking and unforgettable image, which would in turn imbue any clothing made from this silk with a powerful metaphor.

They also wanted to make their own homage to the spider, their own prescriptive code for ritual dress, charged with the talismanic power of the robes of priests. Or to imagine something similar to the attire of the Empress of China as she officiated at the rituals of sericulture.