EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

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EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby Hazumu » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:05 pm

What are the pros and cons of the different sizes of EL wire?

I've been looking at dozens of vendors' sites. The EL wire is anywhere from 1.2 mm to 5 mm

The "EL wire 101" sites say not to put it in places that move a lot, like elbows and knees, plus a buncha' other stuff.

But I still have to choose from 4 to 6 different sizes - and there's no guidance on the vendors' sites.

Can you share your knowledge/experience with EL wire?

FWIW, what I want to do is take three colors and twist them together, then drive them from a 3-channel sequencer to produce that flash-y 'theater marquee' chase-light effect. I want to attach it to the torso of a jacket (kind of like personal clearance lights.)

Thank you for your wisdom;

Karen
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:30 pm

IMO, twisting three together is asking for failure. It's a very fine wire, and bends/twists only increase the possibility of it developing a short. I'd recommend looking for 'tail wire' which is a medium thickness but a flat ended tail that you can sew onto fabric. Take a peek around, there are a few glowy/blinky threads that may have additional info and experiences with the stuff.
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:55 pm

Use the "phat" 3.2mm wire that Cool Neon sells. The casing is more flexible and durable than the other sizes. YMMV.
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby jeskalgh » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:53 am

I use a medium 2.2mm on my coat and bikes and everything else. With the thin wire you have to be especially careful around the elbows and knees where you move a lot, it will snap with lots of bending. I focus my designs on the back and front of my jacket and line the cuffs on my sleeves, that way I don't have to worry about it! Good luck on your jacket!
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:15 am

FWIW, we used the above mentioned wire on both the jacket and skirt of the girls outfit this last year with great results. It was all in very high flex areas and done all around.. and it came through with flying colors. I have used other types/thicknesses, and the 3.2 phat was definitely the way to go due to the flex capabilities of it.

It would depend on what you're doing with it, honestly. If you are sewing it overall to a jacket/skirt/whatever and doing it all over, you want that flex. If you're doing in on a hat or something that's not going to flex and you want that detail, go with a smaller gauge. I've seen some incredible top hats and otherwise using the thin stuff..
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:38 pm

I think you will need more channels and alternately blacked out sections of wire to do a chase...
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:01 pm

some seeing eye wrote:I think you will need more channels and alternately blacked out sections of wire to do a chase...



She doesn't want to do a chase, just have three strands of wire each on a separate channel and sequence them using something like this: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.ACC ... /id.842/.f

Image

On a side note, remember to think about how many feet you are looking to drive for each strand of EL wire. You need to look at the driver/sequencers rating for amount of feet that it's able to drive. That particular one will do up to 25 feet.
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Re: EL Wire for clothing - what size is best.

Postby Elliot » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:21 pm

:D
What happened to our manners? Hey Karen, welcome to e-playa! And good on you for using a portrait as you avatar. Much easier to communicate when we have a visual of the person at the other end of the string.

You are correct that you want "clearance lights" on yourself. Never leave camp after dark without lights visible from all directions, to keep yourself from getting run over.

Carry on!
:D
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