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Brains Behind North Face FutureLight Helping Kraig Biocraft Develop New Yarns, Fabrics

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, announced that it has contracted textile expert Jeff Dorton to assist in developing new and innovative yarns and fabrics utilizing Dragon Silk.

The initial customer for these yarns and fabrics will be Spydasilk Enterprises, the company’s joint venture apparel brand headquartered in Singapore. The joint venture with MtheMovement, an eco-friendly luxury streetwear apparel line that is part of the Kings Group of companies, is developing and selling Kraig Labs’ spider silk fibers under apparel and fashion brand SpydaSilk.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kraig Labs granted the joint venture and the SpydaSilk brand an exclusive geographic license to all Kraig Lab technologies for the ASEAN region, in exchange for a four-year firm commitment to purchase up to $32 million, with an additional projected purchase of $8 million, of Kraig Labs’ raw recombinant spider silk, with an initial payment of $250,000.

Following the launch of Spydasilk apparel, the company plans to expand collaboration with Dorton to create several additional yarns and textiles for applications spanning the performance and luxury textiles market.

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 Utilizing his extensive network of mills and spinners around the globe, Dorton is working to drive the manufacture of the first spider silk fabrics.

“I have known Jeff since his time with The North Face, and I am thrilled to partner with him to create Kraig Labs’ first custom yarns and fabrics,” Kraig Labs chief operating officer Jon Rice said. “Jeff is a highly regarded textile expert with a storied history of developing new textile technologies. He has directed key initiatives for some of the planet’s biggest brands and we can’t wait to see what we can do together. While his ability to develop high-performance yarns and fabrics may be unmatched, we share Jeff’s passion for sustainability and textiles that are functional and desirable.”

Dorton is vice president of product development and material innovation at LifeLabs Design. Previously, he directed material innovation efforts for The North Face and Under Armour. Dorton led initial efforts to develop Nano spun membrane called FutureLight at North Face. He also coordinated with the sustainability team at VF Corp. to create the Responsible Down Standard that was later gifted to Textile Exchange to ensure ethical and sustainable sourcing for natural insulations.