Having known a little bit about this exhibition I was intrigued to see exactly what on earth the deal was with this silk from spiders thing!

Finding the tiny room that they’d put the exhibition in was a little bit of a challenge in the spiraling corridors of the V&A but eventually, I found it and it did not disappoint.

In the small darkened room stood a glass case with the most beautiful golden yellow embroidered cape I’d ever seen in my whole life. It really did seem like a garment from a fairy tale and seemed to possess its own ethereal glow. I’m not exaggerating the cape was glowing!

It was magnificent to behold and made me wonder whether the wearer would be imbued with some special spider powers once they had it on!

Everything was included in this tiny darkened room; from books containing sinister etchings of the ghoulish spiders which talked about the process of silk extraction to the embroidery designs for the cape and spools of silk. There was even an alternative piece of woven silk displayed in cases around the walls. These spiders have clearly been very busy!

Apart from the cape the part I enjoyed most about this exhibition was the short film which showed how local people in Madagascar had woven and embroidered the silk by hand. It was a definite bonus to be able to see the artisans at work and for them to get some recognition for their obvious hard work and dedication.

See the short clip below of the designers Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley talking about the conception and development of the cape.