Vietnam’s burgeoning garment industry is about to get a new technology.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a U.S. developer of spider silk-based fibers, on Monday announced that after two years of negotiations with a governmental entity, it will form a subsidiary in the Southeast Asian nation, as well as open an advanced hybrid silk research and pilot production operation there.
“It is a key milestone in the advancement of our longstanding business plan to bring these advanced materials to the multi-billion dollar marketplace for advanced technical textiles. It brings us a huge step closer to meeting the demand for our spider silk technologies,” Kim Thompson, chief executive officer and founder, said in a statement, adding that while Vietnam has “tremendous” silk and textile production infrastructure already in place, the agreement will bring a new technology and capability to the country.
Known for achieving a series of material science breakthroughs using its genetic engineering technologies, such as the patent-pending Dragon Silk fiber it’s claimed is stronger and more flexible than native spider silk, Kraig said the Vietnam plant will allow it to lay the groundwork to produce and further develop advanced hybrid textiles.
Currently in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals for the subsidiary and its operations, the company plans to lease a research and production facility over the next several months, as well as hire and train local workers, obtain permits and start to cross-breed its silkworms with local commercial lines.