Thursday, April 23, 2015

Day 89 EL-ectrifying products with EL Wire

I've been wanting to create an e-Textile  project with a sunflower for a while now, and have been  playing with different designs in my mind and on 'napkins'.   The sunflower ideas seem to gravitate towards my using a brown felt hat that my sister, Joanne, gave me.   This week the inspiration to move the project forward came when playing with EL wire;  and so did some new science knowledge.    Here's what I've got so far

I used conductive thread, three green micro leds, and a cell battery to add a little  pizazz to three flowers and then used  a green EL wire to create swirly patterns that looked like vines on the brim of the hat.  I decided that I wanted the vine effect on both the top and the inside of the brim.  At the last minute I decided to wrap the unused EL wire along the band of the hat.

EL wire was so easy to use, it didn't feel all that 'geeky' but it sure looked cool.  But it had very different properties than the LED circuits I have been playing with, so using it lead to new understanding about AC and DC power, and a LOT more questions, which I will try to answer over the next few post.  

It also lead to some experimentation of different techniques for adhering the EL wire to my felt hat.

But in each case,  the eTextile lead me to new motivation to learn more about the science involved in eTextile.  Motivation is KEY to new learning.  eTextiles gave me some of the motivation for some new science  and tech learning,  but it also gave me a frame of reference for the new knowledge to stick to.   Unless new knowledge can connect with previous knowledge, it usually won't stick.   All of a sudden the many pieces of eTextiles are starting to connect and build into a broader understanding of science and tech.  

I'm looking to add some type of element that uses sensors to the hat, but have not decided what that will be yet.  Any suggestions welcomed.

I'll use the next few blog post to share tips and tricks for working with EL wire,  simple parallel micro LED's and some of the science/tech knowledge that I gained along the way.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way the EL wire looks with the sunflowers! Have you considered adding a light sensor, so your hat only lights up when it's not too light inside or out?