Inspired by spiders, one Japanese startup is inventing a new generation of textiles

(CNN) Five times stronger than steel , spider silk’s unique qualities were recognized by the Ancient Greeks — and more recently, scientists have looked at applications from medicine to engineering.

Now,one Japanese startup, Spiber , is exploring how spider webs could transform the textile industry. The biotech company started by making a spider silk replica in the lab and has since spun out its fabric range to include more sustainable alternatives to wool, cashmere and denim, says Kenji Higashi, head of business development at Spiber.