Hello, i was at a convention this weekend and a speaker mentioned a product like electroluminescent wire only it was a thread. It could be woven into fabric or used to sew fabric together. It can then be controlled by a battery source and light up. I guess this a new technology but it sounds interesting. Has anyone come across this?

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was he talking about fiber optics? If you need a light source (LEDs) than its probably fiber optics but that certainly isn't a new technology. Do you know who the speaker was? I'm curious to find out more...
I beleive the speaker was JF Bibeau although their were several their and the event is a litle fuzzy. I did find this "http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/2007/11/07/42559/electroluminescent-thread-makes-clothes-glow-in-the-dark.htm" which describes something similar....it was not a fiber optic as it was compaired to EL wire which I have seen available many places.

This was at the Dragon*Con convention that I heard about it.
It looks like a very thin EL wire, but instead of using a copper wire as inner conductor, they used a thread. This way they were able to obtain a very fine thread, 0.12 mm in diameter.

Interesting, even if I would like to see the solutions they found for the electrical connections. We sell and use 1.2 mm EL wire in our projects and the weak point is still connections (expecially because you need high voltage to make it work).
Yes i was searching the web for it too. and you have it in different diameters, from 0,9mm to 5mm thick. I like it very much because you can integrate it in every fabric. And it's not that expensive ;) If you type EL wire at Google, then you get a lot of adresses where you can order this.
I'm looking for that too. I haven't found what I'm looking for. It's a wire, but the whole thing doesn't light up, instead you can put a lightbulb (your color choice) onto any part of the thread, and its also battery powered. I saw it on a public broadcasting show, but I can't remember the name of it. It's not EL wire/thread/yarn though. I'd like to know more too, because I want to put lights in special places, not just in a full line. If anyone else knows more info, let me know please!! :) thx
yikanee, I think you are looking at fiber optics. This site has some information - I'm sure there are others...


Yikanee, you might be talking about something like this dress by 3lectromode:

Her circuit has a few bells and whistles - you can make a simpler version with just a battery, a length of wire, a resistor, and LED lights. There's lots of tutorials for making LED circuits online, but you might take a look at Diana Eng's "fairytale fashion" overview of LED Lights in fashion:


Thank you, Diana Eng's fairytale fashion is exactly what I saw...thanks ;)
is it possible though to cut electroluminescent wires and still source them?
Yes, absolutely. You can cut and extend the two wires (the thin wires being the first and the metal core being the second) with normal electrical wire. This way you can have parts that light up and parts that don't.
Connections are always a weak spot in any electrical/electronic project and fashion items suffer even more so because of the constant flexing caused by the movement of the wearer which will eventually cause the connection to fail. However as an advance in illuminating fabrics, this is a major step forward. Individual fibres could be addressed, so with some careful timing you could create some stunning effects not achievable currently, EL - wire is too thick and fibre optics are not really controllable plus they are also less flexible then the EL thread. Could you imagine a moving image displayed on your clothes such as a TV programme, this is one step closer to something like that.
It's funny that that article is from 2007. So it's hardly new. They must have run into problems somewhere otherwise you'd be able to buy it somehow surely?


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