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Spiders produce silk fibers with remarkable properties including high tensile strength, elasticity, durability and softness.

We’ve developed technology to replicate this amazing process sustainably at large scale. Our knit ties are our first prototype product, available in a limited edition release.

We study silk proteins spun by spiders to determine what gives them their incredible properties.

We develop proteins inspired by these natural silks by using bioengineering to put genes into yeast.

We produce the protein in large quantities through fermentation, using yeast, sugar and water.

We extract the liquid silk protein and spin it into fibers in the same way fibers like acrylic and rayon are made.

We knit or weave these fibers into fabrics and garments.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Spiders?

How are spiders involved in your process?
No spiders are harmed in the making of Bolt Threads Microsilk® fibers! In fact, there are no spiders at all in the process. We originally studied real spiders’ silk, to understand the relationship between the spiders’ DNA and the characteristics of the fibers they make. Today’s technology allows us to make those proteins without using spiders—which is a big relief to the arachnophobes among us.
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Our Materials

Why does the world need a new textile material?
Two reasons: Performance and sustainability. We believe that it is possible to get much better performance from textiles and garments: We can imagine textiles that are both softer and longer-lasting, and offer better protection from a variety of elements. We’re also motivated by the fact that the textile industry is among the dirtiest industries on the planet: According to the World Bank, 20% of water pollution globally results from textile processing. Many of our staff have been in this industry for a long time and we’re driven to produce fabrics that can meet consumers’ needs while minimizing impacts on the environment.
I don’t wear silk. Why would I wear your stuff?
Silk is a wonderful, versatile fabric. It’s soft and breathable and remarkably warm. Woven silk—think pajamas and silky dresses—is very different from a silk knit, which was the original technical base layer. Silk has fallen out of favor for everyday wear because it is not an easy care fabric. (And for guys, silky shirts went out with disco.) Our fabrics will combine the best qualities of silk, but will look and feel quite different from traditional silk, and also be easier to wash and wear.
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Sustainability

How will your technology be less impactful on the environment?
At Bolt Threads, we believe that living in an increasingly resource-constrained world means we have a responsibility to find more sustainable ways of creating materials. We’re motivated by the fact that the textile industry is among the dirtiest industries on the planet. According to the World Bank, 20% of water pollution globally results from textile processing. Many of us have been in this industry a long time and we’re driven to produce fabrics that can meet consumers’ needs with the lowest possible environmental footprint.

We’re currently still in the R&D phase. Once we finalize our production processes, we will embark on life cycle analysis to determine the environmental impacts of our material, and utilizing the industry standard Higg Materials Sustainability Index, will be able to compare the results to dozens of other natural and synthetic materials.
You say this is renewable. How?
The main input in our fiber-making process is sugar from plants that are grown, harvested and replanted. Compare this renewable process to polyesters, which are made from petroleum. Currently, more than 60% of textiles are made of polyester and other non-renewable, petroleum-derived fibers.
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Genetically Modified Organisms

Do your materials contain GMOs?
No. Our Microsilk® fibers do not contain any genetically modified organisms. The process we use to make our fibers does utilize genetically modified yeast. After fermentation is complete, the silk protein is separated from the yeast, and then the remaining yeast cells are destroyed by heat. There are no GMOs present in the final material. This is the same technology that has been used for decades to safely produce cheese, along with insulin and many vaccines.

The sugar that we are using in the fermentation process comes from genetically modified corn. At this time, all large fermentation facilities in the US use sugar from GMO corn because of the abundant supply. It is is widely believed that large-scale fermentation will be possible with non-food crops knowns as cellulosic feedstocks in the future. We are committed to being part of developing the solutions that will enable that future to be realized.
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Bolt Threads
5858 Horton St, Suite 400
Emeryville, CA 94608

(415) 325-5912
hello@boltthreads.com
For press inquiries: press@boltthreads.com
For career inquiries: careers@boltthreads.com