Light enough to not be a hinder, strong enough to hold a person up. There's a reason we use this stuff for everything from construction to clothings.
Deepweb Silk is a common material used in the clothing of Drow. Due to its multi-purpose nature, it has been a viable resource for them for centuries. And with the abundance of weavers in the Subterrane, there's plenty to go around with.
Physical & Chemical Properties
Deepweb Silk is as a light yet highly durable material, being sticky when unrefined. Despite its light weight, it's super durable, able to sustain large amounts of force. And the thicker the strings are, the more indestructible it becomes.
The only issue comes from its high flammability, burning with relative ease. And once it begins to burn, it becomes very hard to remove from the surface it sticks onto.
Origin & Source
The silk gets harvested from many insects that live within the Subterrane, both big and small. Whether it be the cocoons of larvae or the cobwebs of spiders. Some cities domesticate the larger spiders to harvest the webbing from, similar to sheep and their wool.
History & Usage
Its most common usage is in the making of clothes and garments for many underground societies. Due to its light weight and availability, most wear it for everyday use.
It also finds its usage in construction, as the webbing can make for excellent ropes. Many bridges use it for suspension, while some buildings even integrate it for support.
Cultural Significance and Usage
While it hasn't that much significance for many, some groups do see value in it. It's common for nobles to have their silk be harvested from specific species, often by professional weavers.
It also became a very significant element to domesticate certain insects for the harvest of said silk. Some design the clothing after the insects it came from. Others even implement the plates of their exoskeleton in the designs as a form of fashion style.
Before any usage, Deepweb Silk gets treated to become less sticky and less flammable. This is done by letting it bathe in chemically-treated water, removing said properties from it.
Alongside that, some of it also gets dyed to give it its colours with the same method.
Some advice: Don't buy your clothes from a back-alley dealer. I have the souvenirs to show you why.
The big hazard of Deepweb Silk is its high stick factor and flammability. Untreated silk is a fire hazard, causing "glue-like flames" that refuse to come off.
For clothing, this can lead to burns as it sticks onto the wearer. The only way to avoid it would be to go underwater or remove the clothing before it can make contact with the skin.
Trade & Market
Almost every market in the Subterrane trades the silk, often in bulk. Due to being very easy to produce, it is also a very cheap product. The biggest cost is getting it extracted from the arachnids and insects themselves.
It also produces a profession of weavers and clothing makers using the silks. In professional circles it is common for some to seek out specific breeds to get their silk from. Such garments can raise in value exponentially, only worn by specific nobles flexing their wealth.
In some black markets, a variant known as Fae Silk is also sold to people. Made out of the silk Fairies use for their cocoons, it's said to have magical properties. Spellcasters often weave threads of it into their clothing, boosting their magic in several ways.
The problem comes from obtaining it, as often the larvae might be killed in the progress. There are some ethical methods to harvest it, such as donated cocoons from some Fairies, but it is hard to keep track of.
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Brianna Siobhan Healey
I love this article.. We should combine efforts on the silk production... lol.. I have spider silk in my world as well but from Spiders that live in extremely hot/volcanic regions so their silk doesn't burn... lol
Schrödinger's Silk: is both flammable and fireproof at the same time.