Hantau Beetle Silk Material in Axora | World Anvil

Hantau Beetle Silk

You've not worn silk until you've worn Hantau Beetle Silk.
— Hantau Ministar for Trade

The Hantau Silk Beetle

The Hantau Silk Beetle is an insect that grows to about a foot in length. When it was first discovered, it was assumed to be the larval stage of another insect, the Eastern Mysandrian Black Moth, which is poisonous, even in its larval stage. Curiously the larval stage of that moth isn't black, even though the moth that emerges from it is. However, it is a dark silvery colour, unlike other moths and silkworms that exist whose larval stages are a chalky white and form the bulk of the silk trade. The Hantau Silk Beetle is unique in this respect as it is the adult form that produces silk as a defence mechanism. The silk produced mimics that of the poisonous Black Moth larvae and thus deters predators from trying to eat it. When threatened it can retract its head and limbs into its silk-covered carapace so it looks just like a larva.   The silk is produced from its rear section, like a web-spinning spider (of which a few produce silk too). It will produce a mass of it and then proceed to carefully wrap itself in its own silk. After a short while, the silk begins to lose its sheen and the beetle will shed the silk coating and begin anew. This process is roughly undertaken every five days. The beetle's adult lifespan is about six months so it will go through this process roughly 36 times in its life.   The captive beetles are interrupted on the fourth day, so the silk harvested still maintains its lustre but the beetle is still close to its natural cycle. This allows the beetle to not feel like anything is particularly amiss and continues to produce the silk. The Hantau Silk Beetle trade is kept strictly regulated so as to prevent the wild beetles from becoming extinct and to maintain the rarity and prestige of the silk produced. The beetle is not common in the wild so intense care is taken to make sure it persists in nature.  

The Silk Trade

With the platinum mines running dry, Hantau Beetle Silk is now one of Hantau's most prestigious exports. Previously, one would have to travel to Hantau to acquire the material, but as part of trade deals with other nations, Hantau Beetle Silk is exported in small quantities across the world. Silk, in general, is a massive export, of which Hantau Beetle Silk makes up less than one per cent.  


Hantau Beetle Silk is the definition of lustrous. The slightest hint of light touching the silk's surfaces causes a display of iridescence unrivalled in the fabric industry. It is the premier material for the elite echelon of individuals in Axora. If you wear Hantau Silk, you are probably important. If you wear Hantau Beetle Silk, you definitely incredibly important. The strength of the silk is no different to regular silk, nor is it any easier or harder to create garments from in terms of technique, at least. However, due to the way it is farmed, it must be stitched and treated within a day otherwise the silk loses its sheen.
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