The cap marks Bolt Threads’ second commercially available product using Microsilk, a bioengineered spider silk.
The limited-edition hat combines luxurious American Rambouillet wool fibers from Mountain Meadow Mill in Wyoming, with Microsilk created in Bolt Threads’ labs in Emeryville, California.
It took scientists, engineers and apparel experts nine months to seamlessly integrate spider silk fibers with traditional materials and spinning techniques to create Microsilk.
The hat launched Thursday at BestMadeCo.com, selling for $198 and available in 10 colorways, with a limited 100-unit run. The knit hat combines comfort, style and function.
The Microsilk Cap of Courage is the warmest hat within the Best Made Co. collection due to the innovative blend of wool and bioengineered spider silk.
Bolt Threads engineers fibers from scratch based on proteins found in nature and then develops cleaner, closed-loop processes for manufacturing using green chemistry practices. Exemplified in the dress co-created with Stella McCartney, Bolt Threads is able to create silk using yeast, making the textile vegan-friendly and staying true to the designer’s vegetarian philosophy. Solution oriented, this process reduces pollution, creates long-term sustainability and is cruelty-free.
[Read more about spider silk: Why Synthetic Spider Silk Could be the Future of Advanced Apparel Materials]
Last summer, Bolt Threads landed $50 million in funding and partnered with outdoor clothing company Patagonia to continue developing synthetic spider silk for apparel.
In March, the company released a limited edition knit necktie made of 100 percent Boltspun spider silk—the first spider silk product ever available for purchase.
The unisex tie is 100 percent spider silk made by humans using the company’s proprietary technology. It is the culmination of seven years of research and design, and embodies the company’s mission to produce sustainable performance fabrics for commercial use.
Textile Exchange’s recent Preferred Fibers report noted that the bio-economy encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value-added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy.
For the textile industry, the shift from petrochemical-based synthetic fibers to bio-based is in its infancy, with bio-based polyester being the most well developed. Scaling production is underway with brands such as Adidas, The North Face and Tierra supporting pilots with suppliers such as Toray, Far Eastern New Century, Spiber, SM Silk and Bolt Threads, the report noted.