Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a developer of spider silk fibers, said its subsidiary, Prodigy Textiles, has taken possession of its factory in Vietnam to expand the business.
The company is now retrofitting the nearly 50,000-square-foot facility to produce its recombinant spider silk materials. Remodeling efforts are expected to be completed in short order. The company said the facility was chosen for optimal layout and existing infrastructure.
“Our people on the ground in Vietnam are wasting no time getting this facility into operation,” Kraig’s chief operating officer Jon Rice said. “We have outlined a very aggressive timeline for bringing the factory online and we are monitoring progress daily. We are very pleased to see how quickly things are moving and look forward to completing the transition. We expect to make delivery of the first production batch of our recombinant spider silk thread from this factory to one of our strategic market channel partners in the third or fourth quarter.”
Kraig had signed a five-year lease on a factory in Quang Nam province last year. At the time, Rice said, “With its close proximity to the necessary mulberry fields and easy access to shipping ports, this facility will serve as a springboard for Kraig Labs introduction of spider silk into the global textile markets.”
Recently, Kraig and Polartec, a provider of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, announced plans to bring to market the first fabrics made from spider silk. Initially developed for specialized military applications, these materials made from recombinant spider silk (silk resulting from new combinations of genetic material) will eventually service the global market for high performance textiles and apparel.
“Teaming with an industry leader such as Polartec is a real endorsement of our proprietary approach to unlocking the potential of commercially-produced spider silk,” Kim Thompson, Kraig Laboratories founder and CEO, said. “Kraig believes that spider silk, with its superior mechanical characteristics, has the potential to surpass the current generation of high performance fibers.”
The renewable, biodegradable and biocompatible fibers are thin, lightweight, flexible, resilient and display strength-to-weight ratios more comparable to aramid fibers than other current performance fibers, the companies said.