From nature, we know silk to be a strong, shiny fiber that has been in use for a variety of purposes for thousands of years. However, films, gels, and solid foams can also be produced from liquid purified silk protein. Such alternative silk morphologies not occurring in nature were studied in the form of interdisciplinary collaboration between designers and natural scientists at the laboratories Tallinn University's School of Natural Sciences and Health.
The materials are made by restructuring the silkworm Bombyx mori silk protein (fibroin) using protocols developed by biomedicine as a starting point. However, the authors are investigating whether and under what conditions such materials would fit into the fashion, luxury and wearable tech industries as a sustainable alternative to synthetic materials.
Photos by Martin Siplane
Conducted in the laboratories of Tallinn University in collaboration with Sirje Sasi, Kärt Viljalo, Marko Veinbergs, Johannes Halberg, Svetlana Levtšenko, Egle Lillemäe.