Spider webs are constructions built by spiders. The webs are made of silk which the spiders produce through spinnerets. The silk is made of proteins, and is both stronger and more flexible than steel of the same weight. Many medical research centers study the microstructure of this silk, as it has the potential to be used in protective gear like bulletproof vests, and even artificial tendons.
Though the term “spider web” generally implies that the web is in use, while “cobweb” suggests that it’s been abandoned, the two in fact mean the same thing. The term cobweb comes from the Old English word “coppe,” meaning spider.
In ancient European medicine, cobwebs were used on wounds to discourage infection, promote healing and reduce bleeding.
Cobweb paintings are an old art form that originated in the 16th century in the Alps. Today, fewer than one hundred of these paintings can be found, most of which are kept in private collections and are not open to the public.