Technique of the Week #32 – Electroluminescent Wire

Project Hours: 5 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour

Execution: 4 hours 
To say that I love the electronic convergence of tech and textile is an understatement.  I don’t just love it, I LURVE it.  Love love love it.
So when I saw fashion students using electroluminescent wire in garments, I just HAD to try it.  EL Wire is readily available on the internet, and if you saw my little video with Pokey Bolton, you know I found some by typing it into the almighty Google machine to locate some. 
That piece was in my gallery show and some other places, but it was really my trial piece.  I didn’t know what to do with it, how to get it to stay in shape, etc.  i have perfected it now, and while I can’t give away all my secrets (yet) on how to do it, I know you’re all smart folks and can come up with some amazing designs of your own.
Sticking with my octo theme for the year, this little bugger is done with 3 feet of El Wire, and it’s an 8 inch piece.  Almost all of the time was spent on shaping and sewing down the wire. It’s a flexible tube, not unlike your iPod cord.  So take a look at that cord and imagine bending it into tight corners, etc and you will see the dilemma here. 

But, oh, when it’s done, it sure looks pretty all lit up.  The swirled background gives him an eye in shadow when he’s lit up.