Bolt Threads Innovates Programmable Silk Filament like Spider Silk

Engineered silk, a great innovation in the textile and apparel sector by a startup called Bolt Threads. By producing silk on the lab, Bolt Threads doesn’t have to rely on thousands of silkworms for silk yarns. And its production methods give great flexibility to innovate and be efficient in its use of natural resources.

In the past several companies have produced artificial silk for small-scale applications, it can’t be widely used to create new kinds of tough, durable, lightweight, petroleum-free materials unless it can be made in very large volumes. Bolt Threads have found a way.

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As Bloomberg recently reported Bolt Threads has already developed an exact replica of spider silk without spiders. (Bloomberg)

At Bolt Threads, genetically engineered yeast brew silk proteins that can be spun into fibers. The properties of those fibers can be altered by tinkering with the protein concentration and the temperature, tension, and other aspects of the spinning process.

The company says its first products will be in consumer apparel in 2016. Its fibers, which are much finer than natural materials like cotton and stronger than nylon, could lend clothes the best qualities of both natural and artificial fibers. These fibres would be soft and light, while durable enough to toss in the wash repeatedly. However, the company won’t specify which properties it aims to achieve in its early products. (

Widmaier, Founder of Bolt threads, says they can make spider silk that’s stronger, stretchier, or waterproof, for example, depending on preference. (

The technology behind spider silk: 
Bolt Threads uses proprietary technologies to create Engineered Silk fibers based on proteins found in nature. These programmable fibers, which can be tuned to provide superior comfort and performance, represent the most significant innovation the textile industry has seen for decades.

About Bolt Threads

The material world is about to get a whole new material. Bolt Threads is creating the next generation of performance fibers and fabrics using proprietary breakthroughs in industrial biotechnology. Working at the molecular level, Bolt Threads will transform the textiles market, turning renewable raw materials into products with outstanding properties that meet specific consumer needs. Bolt Threads is backed by Foundation Capital, Formation 8, and Founders Fund, and is based in Emeryville, California.
Bolt threads logo (Source: Bolt threads)

Read more about Bolt threads: Bolt Threads FAQ

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Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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