Thousands of the tiny strands can be wound together to produce a strong but flexible string that is perfect for the instrument, said Shigeyoshi Osaki, professor of polymer chemistry at Nara Medical University.
Osaki, who has been working with spider silk for 35 years, has previously suggested the material could be used for surgical sutures or for bullet proof vests, but his passion for the violin inspired him to create something with a musical twist.
In the process of weaving the threads, their shape changes from cylindrical to polygonal, which means they fit together much better, Osaki told AFP.
“During the assembly of normal threads there are many spaces between individual fibres,” he said.
“What we achieved left no space among the filaments. It made the strings stronger. This can have all sorts of applications in our day-to-day lives,” he said, adding 300 female Nephila maculata spiders had provided his raw materials.
The strength and durability of spider silk is not a new discovery, with previous studies showing it can withstand high temperatures and the effects of ultraviolet light.
Strange Random Spider Quote:
Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spiders’ spinning, buildings qualified by light, bred by native character to environment, married to the ground. – Frank Lloyd Wright
- Japan scientist makes violin strings from spider silk (vancouversun.com)
- Spider silk violin strings (boingboing.net)
- Researcher creates violin strings out of spun spider silk (slashgear.com)
- Spider silk spun into violin strings (changebydesign.wordpress.com)
- Spider Silk Spun Into Violin Strings (science.slashdot.org)
- Spider silk spun into violin strings (newscientist.com)
- Violin with strings spun from spider silk plays beautifully (mnn.com)
- Violin Strings Made By Spiders Sound Smooth As Silk (gizmodo.com.au)