What would be the effects of copious amounts of spider silk be on a highly militaristic country? The country is somewhere between renaissance and industrial as far as development, and has had access to the silk for ~400 years, since the country first originated.
Some of the most impressive strands of spider silk on earth exceed 5x the strength of steel, ounce for ounce. However, as this is world building, my spiders are, near inevitably, the slightly magical kind, and so can exceed this limit if desired/necessary.
NOTE : The spiders are not friendly to humanity in any way, and must be carefully handled to gather the silk, however, centuries of the market being open have allowed there to be plenty available.
What would be the military applications of possessing a renewable source of spider silk?
The silk can match, and somewhat exceed, 5x the strength of steel per gram, and the strands can be as long as necessary. The silk can be braided together to attain any desired width.
My primary thoughts involve a light weight and effective body armour, a method of creating a perimeter (something like several lines of spider silk wrapped around a staked out boundary, each strand a hands height above the other or so), and possibly allow for more effective siege engines? Would an increase in the strength of the "rope" in, say, a trebuchet allow for a more effective range or mass of the trebuchets ammunition?