There is a small room at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London at the moment where an extraordinary thing can be seen… fabric woven from the silk of the Nephila madagascariensis. Once you have digested the fact that a million spiders are needed to weave a single piece if this exquisite cloth you are then blown away by the colour. It seems completely unreal that these spiders can produce a fibre such phenomenal shade of yellow; the very essence of golden-yellow itself captured in a thread so fine 24 spiders must produce the fibre simultaneously so it can be spun together to make a single strand. This is mind-blowing stuff however you choose to look at it. Nature is the most clever and surprising colourist of all, never-ceasing to astonish. Why, I wonder, does mother earth feel these spiders needed to produce thread of such a colour?
I can’t help thinking no man on earth could reproduce this shade of yellow… and what a rare and pleasing thought that is.
Thanks for the pictures by Mr Tip Top.