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Old 11-23-2017, 12:00 PM   #11
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

In the real world... searching...
https://www.wired.com/2009/09/spider-silk/
70 people caught 1 million golden orb spiders over 4 years and 12 people extracted 80 feet of silk per spider to create one 11 by 4 foot rug.
So it's technically doable at any tech level, but it would be stupidly expensive without ultra tech or supernatural means.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:45 PM   #12
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

You might be able to do it if you had cat-sized spiders (physiologically possible though none have existed to our knowledge). A 5 kilogram spider could produce five grams of spider silk per day, so each captive spider could produce 1.8 kilograms per year. Of course, they would probably need 100 kilograms of insects per year, but the value of the spider silk would probably exceed that of gold, so it would be worth it. In a Low-Tech campaign, spidersilk armor would probably weigh as much as cloth armor but would give 10x the protection against anything but crushing attacks, so it would probably be 1000x as expensive.
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
You might be able to do it if you had cat-sized spiders
Probably not. The strength of spider silk is significantly a factor of spinneret design which likely would not scale like that (we can produce spider silk with genetic engineering, but it doesn't have the performance of natural silk).
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Probably not. The strength of spider silk is significantly a factor of spinneret design which likely would not scale like that (we can produce spider silk with genetic engineering, but it doesn't have the performance of natural silk).
I think he's merely scaling them up for quantity of silk generated, not thickness of strand. They'd still likely create as narrow a strand, just have a greater capacity to generate silk (having a greater mass, silk generation takes a lesser toll on the spider).
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Old 11-23-2017, 03:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

The search engine is your friend. This is from 2010.

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=74197


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

... Use the Wired article if you want more detail.

"To produce this unique golden cloth, 70 people spent four years collecting golden orb spiders from telephone poles in Madagascar, while another dozen workers carefully extracted about 80 feet of silk filament from each of the arachnids. The resulting 11-foot by 4-foot textile is the only large piece of cloth made from natural spider silk existing in the world today."

If I'm reading it correctly, you have 82 people extracting silk for four years to make a single 11x4' piece of cloth that weighs 2.6 lbs. On top of that you need someone to weave the cloth.

Here is another tidbit
"Camboué built a small, hand-driven machine to extract silk from up to 24 spiders at once, without harming them."

The question is whether this machine could be constructed using Low-Tech (TL0-TL4) technology.

More
"Fourteen thousand spiders yields about an ounce of silk"

"Once the spiders had been milked, they were released into back into the wild, where Godley said it takes them about a week to regenerate their silk."

It is one of the best articles I've seen for pulling out information that modellers can use. You wouldn't believe the frustration when writing Low-Tech. A lot of the practical information we needed for trying to model various ancient technologies was incredibly hard to find.
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Last edited by DanHoward; 11-23-2017 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:32 PM   #16
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

One thing I think never mentioned is that I doubt all the workers worked only on that project. They probably had other paying jobs, hobbies, and lives, right?
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
One thing I think never mentioned is that I doubt all the workers worked only on that project. They probably had other paying jobs, hobbies, and lives, right?
Maybe.

70 people worked for 4 years to gather spiders, on a 260 day work year that's 72,800 days, which is 13.73 spiders collected per day to reach 1 million spiders.

I have no idea how many golden orbs a professional spider-wrangler can catch in a day but if I had to guess, I would say 'more than 14'.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:09 PM   #18
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

You can have spiders at higher densities then the ones they used. Back in 2009 there was a major infestation in a wastewater treatment plant in Baltimore. 107 million spiders in a 4 acre building.. That makes harvesting easier. Well once you find workers that don't run screaming.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

Most spider species are cannibalistic and territorial. Not all, but most.
But for a hypothetical parallel reality, it wouldn't stretch physics to have perfect web producers tolerant of each other.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: [LT] Armor Design: Silk and Spider Silk

I remember some twentyish years ago somebody produced genetically modified goats that produced spider silk in their milk. Mad wizard, yadda, yadda, yadda...
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