Exactly what it says on the tin: if strands of spider silk were part of the human dermis, would a human still be able to move normally?

If the answer to this is based on how concentrated it there is, then what concentration of spider silk (measured in whatever units you want) could a reasonably healthy human being have in their dermis while still moving normally?

Assume the following material properties for this spider silk:

  • 1300 megapascals tensile strength

  • 1.3 grams per cubic centimeter density

  • 120 megajoules per cubic meter energy density

  • Capable of stretching 5 times its relaxed length without breaking

  • 111 megajoules per cubic meter toughness

  • $\begingroup$ ash already gave my answer. i personally don't see much use of spider silk reinforced skin. it doesn't help much with cut resistance. and it is too stretchy to help against piercing, bludgeoning, and ripping. i guess it is convenient if you want to harvest larger quantity's of the stuff. $\endgroup$ Oct 27, 2021 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ @PostlimFort just because its stretchy does not mean it cannot protect against piercing or cutting damage. The silk would resist cuts/piercing and the tissues below it cushion the blow, preventing it from pushing the threads too far. The thickness and way it is layered would determine its protective capabilities. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Oct 27, 2021 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


Given point four "Capable of stretching 5 times its relaxed length without breaking" there is no reason that movement need be particularly restricted. I will say that I can make a case for it being harder to move because the skin may be putting more compressive pressure on the skeletomuscular system underneath. That would simply require a muscle mass/efficiency increase, probably a rather slight one.


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