In a letter to its shareholders, Kraig Labs’ CEO Kim Thompson, said over the next few months the company is expecting to create enough unique strains of spider silk transgenics to implement a multi-line “double hybrid” production system.

Thompson explained: “The work that we started in late 2022 with the first cross-hybrids, blending our spider silk technology with commercial silkworm strains, has now expanded to nearly a dozen strains of robust production silkworm lines. These strains were sourced from around the world and selected for their strong genetic background and cocoon performance.”

With these additional strains in-house, Kraig Labs is now starting to cross-breed its spider silk transgenes into these various commercial lines.

The company said it has already begun this process of breeding spider silk-producing variants of the “first of these commercial strains” that, when crossed with each other, should produce the largest and most robust production silkworms in the company’s history.

Kraig Labs pointed out that, additionally, it has been working in collaboration with textile consultants and yarn spinners to develop the first materials and applications for spider silk in textiles. The first of these yarns, designed in late 2022, has now been spun.

After consultation with several mills, the company mentioned it successfully created the first composite silk, pima cotton yarns. This initial trial proved successful, giving Kraig Labs insight into aspects of blending silk and cotton that have been used to further refine its silk processing steps. 

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Based on the technical analysis of the first silk and cotton composite yarn, the company stated it partnered with leading US textile engineers to improve several aspects of the silk cutting, washing, and opening processes. The results are a set of processing steps and protocols that have proven to improve the silk staple fibre separation and alignment, which will increase the overall quality and uniformity of the composite yarns.

Adding further, the company said it invested in the production equipment necessary for the in-house manufacturing of silk staple fibres to ensure the quality of these processes as it scales up production.