Trying spider silk

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desiredcreations

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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?
My sister is also freaked by spiders. I used to be like her, but I've been working very hard to suppress my inner screams. But as soon as I tried the soap with those proteins in it, I was running all around my sister's house collecting old webs. She thought I'd gone off the deep end, but she was quite happy to see the webs gone. :)

I read corn silk bio-components are very popular in cosmetics. Cornsilk powder contains allantoin which is a common ingredient in skincare products for it's moisturizing and conditioning properties.

I'm focused on whatever chemical components that make soap feel silky and luxurious, and frankly, cost effective. :)
 

desiredcreations

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Got my spides moved and the silk harvested. It dirty due to the fact they lay webbing down over the ground, hopefully I can get it clean enough to use
I'm trying to think thru the process of how to clean dirty webs. With the last batch, I manually removed large debris with tweezers, put the web material in the lye solution. I strained the solution which still contained some webbing and smaller debris.

My latest collection is much bigger, and dirtier, since they are obviously older and have collected more debris. I'm considering a gentle rinsing or washing after removing the large debris.

Also planning to make test batches of other protein sources for comparison. But there seems to be something very special about the properties in spider silk proteins, based on the literature I've read.
 

Zany_in_CO

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as soon as I tried the soap with those proteins in it, I was running all around my sister's house collecting old webs. She thought I'd gone off the deep end, but she was quite happy to see the webs gone.
😂
I read corn silk bio-components are very popular in cosmetics. Cornsilk powder contains allantoin which is a common ingredient in skincare products for it's moisturizing and conditioning properties.
True. I sometimes use allantoin in leave-on products. Allantoin is processed from comfrey. For soap, I infuse oil with comfrey leaves (not root) for soothing/healing effect and pretty color.


Comfrey.png

I'm focused on whatever chemical components that make soap feel silky and luxurious, and frankly, cost effective.
I grew comfrey in a container in a damp (think "forest floor") shady spot on the north east side of my house for years. I used the infused oil to make herbal balms, lip balm, etc., as well as soap. It's one of my all-time favorite all-natural (not chemical) ingredients. :nodding:
 
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desiredcreations

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😂

True. I sometimes use allantoin in leave-on products. Allantoin is processed from comfrey. For soap, I infuse oil with comfrey leaves (not root) for soothing/healing effect and pretty color.


View attachment 68795

I grew comfrey in a container in a damp (think "forest floor") shady spot on the north east side of my house for years. I used the infused oil to make herbal balms, lip balm, etc., as well as soap. It's one of my all-time favorite all-natural (not chemical) ingredients. :nodding:
 
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I wasn't able to clean my silk, too much dirt between each layer.
I'll have to head down in the basement and check the rafters
I just know there are people here on SMF that are probably reaching for their anxiety meds (or wine) after reading that. Spiders don't freak me out, but I would not go into the basement looking for them, either. :)
 

desiredcreations

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I just know there are people here on SMF that are probably reaching for their anxiety meds (or wine) after reading that. Spiders don't freak me out, but I would not go into the basement looking for them, either. :)
I found some really good, but old, abandoned monster webs in my sister's basement. :D At one point, my sister forgot her spider fear and helped me gather. Lots to clean, once I turn off my creep sensors and turn on my scientific curiosity brave mode.
 

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Zany_in_CO

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What a lovely color; beautiful soap! You've inspired me to try growing some comfrey.
Comfrey grows wild in Northern New England. I received 5 roots from a soaping buddy in New Hampshire. She dug them up from a woods nearby where she took daily walks. I planted them in a half-whiskey barrel. Added compost every year. They are VERY invasive if you plant them in the ground.

Growing Comfrey
 

Sandiebrown65

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Wow, thinking I might have to go dig up some funnel-web spider nests from my property. I also have a lot of orb-weaver spiders around here (you know the ones that make those big round webs between trees that hit you in the face when you walk down the garden path!), but I would need to get up early for those however they would be very clean. I don't have many webs in the house thanks to my local huntsman spider population which I think is a good thing, but my husband has a mortal fear of those big guys running around the walls of the house. 🤣
 

desiredcreations

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Comfrey grows wild in Northern New England. I received 5 roots from a soaping buddy in New Hampshire. She dug them up from a woods nearby where she took daily walks. I planted them in a half-whiskey barrel. Added compost every year. They are VERY invasive if you plant them in the ground.

Growing Comfrey
I'm in Vermont, but apparently not in the places where comfey has had a chance to take hold. But it's highly likely I don't recognize it yet. However, my entire property, in areas where there are no big trees, is a battle of various very invasive plants, so it's always gladiator city. I've taken to wildcrafting as a way to learn about the natural flora and fauna. I'll have to try introducing comfrey and hope for the best.
 

cerelife

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@desiredcreations, I LOVE THIS POST! OMG!🤣🤣🤣
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)

I just know there are people here on SMF that are probably reaching for their anxiety meds (or wine) after reading that. Spiders don't freak me out, but I would not go into the basement looking for them, either. :)

That would be me. I even volunteered to be the guinea pig in my upper level psychology class for exposure therapy as a cognitive behavior treatment for phobias. I couldn't even make it past being able to touch a picture of a spider much less have an actual spider in a jar on my desk. Even with the kind encouragement from my classmates and our professor, I would yeet right out of my chair no matter how hard I tried to not have this stupid, irrational fear. Then I checked back into this thread (per the alerts) and read about]@Obsidian[/USER] and her tarantulas. Don't get me wrong...I personally love snakes and have had many pet boas and pythons over the years, so to each their own.
I'm off to sling-shot myself into the sun to burn those images out of my brain.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'm in Vermont, but apparently not in the places where comfey has had a chance to take hold.
When I needed to find a common weed to make Raspberry Pink - Yellow Dock Soap I googled a map online that showed where it grows in Colorado. Maybe try that? Are you near a river bank?
a battle of various very invasive plants, so it's always gladiator city.
😂 Atta girl! Go get 'em!
I've taken to wildcrafting as a way to learn about the natural flora and fauna. I'll have to try introducing comfrey and hope for the best.
:thumbs: There are 5 varieties. Mine were the Russian variety with fushcia pink blossoms and large leaves, bigger than the palm of my hand, if allowed to grow before harvesting. but I cut them young, 2-3 times over the summer, for a stronger green color. I laid them out on the dining room table to dry for a week before crushing them up and storing in glass jars. That's one of the benefits of Colorado - the low humidity moves the process along quite nicely. GOOD LUCK!!!
 

Christa10

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😂

True. I sometimes use allantoin in leave-on products. Allantoin is processed from comfrey. For soap, I infuse oil with comfrey leaves (not root) for soothing/healing effect and pretty color.


View attachment 68795

I grew comfrey in a container in a damp (think "forest floor") shady spot on the north east side of my house for years. I used the infused oil to make herbal balms, lip balm, etc., as well as soap. It's one of my all-time favorite all-natural (not chemical) ingredients. :nodding:
What does comfrey smell like?
 
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I wasn't able to clean my silk, too much dirt between each layer.
I'll have to head down in the basement and check the rafters
LOL, you would try it!! A girl and her Spiders...:D There is not a spider web in the world worth me trying in soap. While I have used a lot of cornsilk and Mulberry Silk cocoons I honestly never found the soap quality to have any great difference in feel, nor did anyone of my blind testers. Silk I put in the same category as Milks. including GM, as label appeal.
 

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