Protein Materials: A Revolution in Manufacturing

Spider silk, the toughest material on earth, only scratches the surface of the potential offered by proteins. The skillful combination of 20 types of amino acids enables the production of endless variations of materials with unique, unprecedented versatility. Molecular scientists have designed and synthesized over 600 types of novel proteins, carefully analyzing their material properties to accumulate a massive amount of data. Shortly, proteins will be widely used as a basic industrial material, just as metals, glass, and plastics are used today. 

The North Face has teamed up with Japanese company Spiber to create the Moon Parka, a jacket made out of synthetic spider silk. Regarding design on The North Face Antarctica Parka, the new Moon Parka is made out of QMONOS, a new fiber made from bioengineered bacteria that looks and feels like spider silk.

Considered the toughest material in the world, QMONOS outperforms manmade materials. Spiber’s team researched the diverse genetic designs found in nature and then developed advanced methods to create new tailor-made protein materials designed at the molecular level. The Moon Parka is touring The North Face stores in Japan at the moment, and hopefully, a production-ready version of the parka will be released later this year.