Kraig Biocraft Laboratories has finished production of its first roll of pure Dragon Silk fabric, marking the first time the firm's proprietary recombinant spider silk fibres have been used to create a 100% pure woven silk fabric.

The material is destined for ballistic performance testing, under the company's contract with the US Army, to evaluate its potential for protective apparel applications.

"Dragon Silk, which started as a simple idea in the lab for a better performing silk, is now on the verge of demonstrating its capability to provide lifesaving performance blended with high flexibility and user comfort," says COO Jon Rice. "What a proud moment for the company and all of our employees, as we prepare to process this first roll of Dragon Silk fabric into test samples for the US Army and to assess its ability to assist in protecting the brave men and women of our armed forces, who dedicate themselves to protecting all of us."

Kraig Biocraft previously developed sample products, in pure and blended knit configurations using its Monster Silk materials, including shirts and gloves. Today's (22 June) announcement marks the first time the firm's newer and stronger Dragon Silk will be transitioned into an end product.

Dragon Silk is a genetically engineered spider silk that mimics the strength and toughness found in native spider silk, but which can be produced at large quantities through the company's specially developed silkworms. These specially engineered silkworms were developed to be a direct drop-in replacement into the traditional silk production infrastructure which produces more than 150,000 metric tons of silk per year. 

Unlike traditional synthetic materials such as Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) polymers or aramids, which are very stiff, spider silk is extremely flexible, making it more comfortable and providing higher mobility and movement for the wearer. Spider silk is also biocompatible, making it ideal for skin contact applications; and biodegradable, reducing the environmental burden of synthetic materials.