You inspire me to....Weave like a spider

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Spiders are very fast weavers. It takes them about 60 minutes to make a web. Spider silk is very light but super strong and stretchy.

Spiders use their webs to catch food. The most effective spider webs can catch 250 flies a day!

Spiders and webs can be seen on display at Cliffe Castle Museum. Weaving machines are on display at Bradford Industrial Museum.

See if you can weave your own orb web.

What do I need?(Adult supervision needed.)

  • A square piece of cardboard (about 20cm x 20cm)

  • 4 metres of wool

  • Scissors

What am I doing?

  1. Cut out the middle of your cardboard square to make a frame. Make small cuts in the corners of your frame and halfway along each side.

  2. Tie your wool across the middle of your frame to make a cross. Use the small cuts to keep the wool in place and tie each end with a double knot. Now do the same from the corners, to make a diagonal cross. These are your anchor threads.

  3. Tie the wool onto one of the threads, about 2cm from the middle. Twist it tightly round each thread in turn until you get back to where you started. You might want to tie knots to keep it in place.

  4. Move your wool another centimetre away from the centre. Start taking it around the threads again, wrapping it around each one in turn.

  5. Keep going until you reach the edge of your frame, or your wool runs out. Tie the end

If you get a bit confused, download the instruction sheet we've attached to this page, and it shows step by step pictures of the each stage.

Hints and Tips

  • If you don’t have scissors or cardboard, weave your web between two chair backs – take care not to get tangled in it.

  • Some spiders make triangle webs or funnel webs (with a hole in the middle where the spider hides.) See if you can weave a different type of web.

  • Some spiders add extra patterns to their webs – can you do that?


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