Monday, 21 October 2013

14 July 1894 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

I... did not know this. (and I googled, it's true, Queen Victoria was really given this dress.)

INCREDULOUS:- Yes, it is quite true that a woman's dress has been woven from spiders' webs. Our own Queen is in possession of it, having received it as a present from the late Empress of Brazil in 1877. It is said that it surpasses the most costly silk in both delicacy of fibre and beauty. The extraordinary strength of the web is almost incredible. A bar of highly tempered steel, of the same thickness as a cord produced from spiders' web, would break at a strain of 50 tons, while the web would break at 74 tons. Louis XIV had a coat made of this web, and Le Bon, of Languedoc, obtained silk of spiders which was woven into gloves and stockings. A drachm of the web would reach a distance of 200 miles. When in full work they spin half a grain a day, and to enable them to do so, they devour to the amount of twenty-seven times their own weight in food of any description in a day. They are exceedingly voracious and eat each other, as well as flies, and other insects. 

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