Paracore Spider Silk
This thin silk can be found from clear to a light silver in colour, the most common is a pearlescant white. These threads are no more than .25mm in diameter. When used in making webs they can be as long as five miles.
Physical & Chemical Properties
The silk threads extruded by the Paracore Spider have several unique qualities. The first is its strength. Even though it is very fine it takes special sheers to cut. It is also fire-proof, which has led some to craft cloth and clothing from the threads.
Geology & Geography
The Paracore Spiders are found only in Shay in the volcanic regions. There are a couple of people who raise the spiders for their silk but need specialized equipment and food to maintain the health of their animals. Spiders bred in capitivity do not grow to be as large as their wild cousins. They do however produce more silk, as they are often milked for the fine threads to be used in crafting of cloth or lace. One breeder has experimented with diet to see if they can produce specific colours of threads from their spiders. This has led to many having health problems and needing to return to the original specialized diet. They did succeed to some extent but the cost of health to their precious spiders was not worth the effort.
History & Usage
It wasn't until about 900 OTO, when Francine Du Plaint discovered the spiders while she was travelling did the use of their silk take a more economic turn. The spiders were hunted primarily as a food source and pest control. The people of Shay have always viewed the spiders as pests to be exterminated.
When Francine first encountered a Paracore web she was surprised by its strength. She tried to collect the threads but didn't have anything but her knife to cut them. Using all of her strength to slice the thread she found herself face to face with a spider. The spider and Francine stared at each other for several minutes before the spider's attention was diverted by something else. Francine coiled up the thread she had, following it back to the spider's nest, where she found an eggsac. Carefully she cut the sac away from the wall and scurried out of nest. She spent several weeks watching the spiders and learning what they ate. Gathering the food supplies they would need was harder than she had anticipated, but she persevered and had everything she needed just in time for the sac to hatch.
The threads are most commonly used to craft the legendary lace that Francine is renowned for. Two Shayshen crafters have recently followed Francine's example and are now using the threads for cloth. These crafters are purveyors of fine footwear.
Manufacturing & Products
Silk thread, lace, and cloth are the primary products of the Paracore Spider Silk. The threads can be used by themselves for stitching clothing together. Lace is the primary use of the spider silk. Francine's signature lace is crafted from these fine threads. Using both the dry and sticky versions of the webbing has allowed her craft some very elaborate patterns. Francine uses special gloves that are resistant to the glue of the webbing. The final product is a silk cloth that is woven in Shay. Recently efforts have been made to incorporate the cloth into crafting lightweight armor.