Friday, April 06, 2007

Glowing away

I've just about finished my first attempt at an EL wire project.

It's very simple - a t-shirt ($20 from Farmers) with a spiral of green EL wire. The spiral is a good shape to start with, as it doesn't involve any cutting and is low-stress on the wire. I didn't even have to terminate it - just used a standard length and made the belt loop thing with the surplus. I used hot melt glue to stick the wire to the shirt, passing it through the fabric every so often to try and give it some structural integrity. I was going to sew the wire in place, but actually duct tape on the inside of the shirt seems to have done the trick. Also, I've used tape to hide the bits of the wire I don't want to show.

Why? I'm going to this psy-trance doof in Aussie - flight's this arvo!


tatjna said...


One of the things I struck when I started making EL wire clothes for dancing is the necessity for washing. How have you got around removing the wire to throw the shirt in the wash?

(i have yet to come up with a satisfactory, simple way of doing it)

Rich said...

Well I've so far only worn it once.
Plus, it was night in the aussie bush, so I was wearing the shirt over a sweater, so it isn't too smelly (TMI moment!)

I reckon if I wash it by hand very gently the water should stay out of the inside of the wire, but do you know different? Possibly I could put hot melt or bathroom sealant around the shrinkwrap terminations first.

Might ask on tribe..

Rich said...

I found this on the coolneon site:
At Last! Cool Neon wire you can use to enhance your water-based projects. While our regular, PVC based wire will operate underwater for long periods of time, this wire is molecularly closed, thereby ensuring total protection

So I reckon that a quick wash shouldn't hurt standard wire?

tatjna said...

I think I'd be more concerned about the agitation damaging the fine filament wires. Even just the jiggling from dancing can damage them, especially at the connections where you plug in the inverter.

I'm keen to hear the results of your test though - if it can be washed without damage, I want to know!

Rich said...

Washed it - handwash, cold water, kept the connector away from the water.

Now I have a working, non-smelly shirt. Which I might wear to Illogic tonight.