Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We report a remarkable feature of the cocoon silk spun by Araneus diadematus spiders, as revealed by electron diffraction: transverse sections of the fibres exhibit significant microstructural anisotropy. Although the mechanical processes of fibre spinning and drawing are uniaxial, the spider is able to achieve multiaxial control of molecular order. In contrast, complex flow patterns are used to obtain multiaxial control of molecular order in synthetic polymer extrudates or fibres. Possible origins and consequences of the transverse anisotropy in A. diadematus cocoon silk are considered briefly. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





5797 - 5800