|This article is about an older version of DF.|
Webs are the source of silk, and appear in caverns. The web itself looks like a light-grey gem, and is most often labeled as being from cave spiders or (in evil biomes) phantom spiders, but the presence of the actual vermin is not necessary for the web to be formed on a given spot (though cave spiders and/or phantom spiders will appear in the general biome where the webs are found). Similar webs can be found in a biome inhabited by giant cave spiders; an actual giant cave spider will be present if these are found.
Webs will be collected automatically by dwarves with the weaving labor enabled, but not until the fortress has a loom. A collect web task will be triggered at the loom as long as webs are on the map and in reach. This can be comfortably deactivated with - - . An important option since webs often occur in dangerous places you might want to secure first. The weaver will then drop the collected thread in the loom and, depending on the loom setting and availability of a stockpile, either leave it there, immediately weave it to cloth, or put it on a stockpile. Other ways to prevent collecting are preventing any dwarf from using the loom ( - - requires manager), deactivating the weaving labor on all dwarves or removing all looms. (Lack of stockpiles alone will not prevent this!) An easier alternative is just to suspend the collect webs task in each loom. ( - ). It may be a good idea to only allow non-skilled weavers to collect webs and only skilled ones to actually weave cloth. Set high minimal skill on the actual weaving loom ( - ) and just as high maximal skill on the collecting loom. Suspend weaving on collecting loom and collecting on weaving loom. This allows higher efficiency, since collecting is not in any way affected by weaving skill (it happens instantly), but trains it and the skill affects quality of cloths.
Webs become silk thread the moment they are picked up. (They are, however, shown in the -stocks menu under -> thread.) Cave spider and phantom spider silk thread are worth 6☼; giant cave spider silk webs and thread are worth 24☼.
Giant cave spiders shoot long strings of dangerous entangling webs at targets prior to attacking - this behaviour can be used to create giant cave spider silk farms. It is not advised to allow weavers to randomly gather webs on maps where giant cave spiders might be lurking nearby. Certain types of titans, forgotten beasts, and demons are also intended to shoot webs; due to a bug, however, they do not.Bug:3149
Webs are delicate, and can be destroyed by contact with any creature (except a dwarf that is gathering that web), or by any other rough treatment such as irrigating, etc. It also appears that if open to the outside, rain will destroy the webs remarkably fast