Spider silk firm sees fast scale-up thanks to frisky silkworms


In Vietnam, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories says its new spider silk-based fiber facility has set production capacity records after just a few months of operation, thanks to happy, healthy, and fertile silkworms. According to Kraig, silkworms are “thriving” in the humid region while munching on fresh mulberry leaves. Breeding should increase silkworm egg production by a factor of 100.

The company uses the transgenic spider silk silkworms to produce an ecofriendly and cost-effective alternative to synthetic textiles. It expects the facility to produce more than 8 metric tons of its specialized silk in 2020, with a total capacity of roughly 40 metric tons per year, once fully utilized.

“There has been considerable interest in Kraig Labs’ high-performance fibers, from multiple internationally recognized brands, so bringing our specialized silkworms online should allow us to deliver our first large batch of fabric and begin to fulfill the fiber request backlog,” says COO Jon Rice.  “Having now successfully delivered the silkworms to the factory, watched our team hard at work rearing this first batch, and preparing the factory for the expanding workload, and walked the rows of silk production rack, tray, and mounting boxes, I believe that we are on track to meet our production targets for 2020.”