Trying spider silk

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desiredcreations

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My favorite part about soapmaking is the chemistry. From what I've read, spider silk is much stronger than worm silk or Tussah silk. I haven't found any info that claims a stronger spider silk results in a silkier soap, though. On the plus side, I live in an area where I can easily collect lots of spider silk to play with. It's totally free and readily available right outside my door. A thought I thought I'd never believe I'd have. Spiders totally creep me out. But curiosity overrides creepy.

I just gathered a small amount of spider silk today, cleaned it as best I could of debris and dissolved it in a small amount of lye/water. Very cool reaction! The liquid turned a yellowish brown and thickened. I filtered it and added it to a 200 gm test soap batch with sheep's milk. I'll unmold it in a couple of days.

No need to tell me I'm a mad scientist. I know already. :)
 

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Babyshoes

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I'll be interested to see how it works out, but I don't think I could bring myself to try it, despite having plenty to hand, especially in summer...

Just can't bare spiders, I tolerate them for long enough to evict them with a long broom! Shudder... 😆
 

cerelife

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Interesting for sure! But I've gotta say that there is zero chance I'd buy anything that had spider silk as an ingredient. Not only am I terrified of spiders, but I can't help but think of partially digested flies in the their webs!
 

desiredcreations

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Interesting for sure! But I've gotta say that there is zero chance I'd buy anything that had spider silk as an ingredient. Not only am I terrified of spiders, but I can't help but think of partially digested flies in the their webs!
I'm definitely not crazy about most spiders. I do like daddy-long-legs. But I surprised myself once I considered spider silk, in quality, is better than the mulberry silk. My curiosity went into overdrive. After I collect the spider webs, I tease out as much debris as possible. Right now, there are a lot more dead leaves stuck in the webs than bugs. :)
 

desiredcreations

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For those who were curious about the outcome, I just tested a small piece of the soap even though its only a week old. I have to say I'm in love with this soap. It was bubbly almost instantly, turned into a creamy silky feel that is truly seductive.

Gonna go smoke a cigarette now.

;)

Biggest challenge now is finding more spider silk before autumn sets in.
 

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@desiredcreations, I LOVE THIS POST! OMG!🤣🤣🤣
I am always willing to experiment, but I could never do this one myself. My husband is terrified of spiders. He panics at the sight of them and depends on me to remove them. I think he would threaten divorce if he thought I was experimenting with spider webs in our kitchen.🤣 (Besides, my soap is vegan)🤣
@Obsidian, tarantulas live in my area. I see their funnel shaped webs around here a lot, but I could never harm one or mess with their nests. They are kind of cute and fuzzy. Has anyone experimented with the stringy bits on a banana? How about the silks from corn? Anyone?
 

dragonmaker

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@Obsidian Maybe you could move them to their fancy new cage first, then harvest the silk from the old cage once they’re gone? I’m ignorant in the ways of taking care of tarantulas, though. Might be because I panic at the sight of simple garden spiders, and couldn’t even consider keeping tarantulas in the house on purpose.
 

Obsidian

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@Obsidian Maybe you could move them to their fancy new cage first, then harvest the silk from the old cage once they’re gone? I’m ignorant in the ways of taking care of tarantulas, though. Might be because I panic at the sight of simple garden spiders, and couldn’t even consider keeping tarantulas in the house on purpose.
Yes, if I move them to a new cage, there is no way to move all the webbing so I could harvest it then. Most tarantulas don't make webs or maybe just a little bit but these are heavy webbers, to the point its going to be hard to wrangle them to move
 

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