The Science of Sustainability

Learn to Make Electroluminescent Clothing

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In just a few short weeks the Bay Area will witness a mass migration to the high desert in Nevada for Burning Man 2011. Fur pants, lit up costumes and technological ingenuity are to be had on the Playa. Whether you're a first time burner, seasoned native or simply into cool costuming, there are a variety of Bay Area classes and resources to help you light up your clothing this August!

Tech Shop has been offering a series of classes on using EL wire (electroluminescent wire) to light up clothing easily and inexpensively. Having taken the class myself, I highly recommend it for its great level of instruction. You'll learn the basics of using EL wire, how to avoid common pitfalls and best practices for sewing it into clothing.

If you're in East Bay, Cool Neon is running weekly workshops to help you light up your clothing. Workshops are free and are taught by the wonderful Cool Neon staff. You can purchase your supplies on site and start making your costumes on the spot!

If you're crunched for time, Cool Neon has put together the definitive guide on learning how to solder EL wire. You can find it online, here.

Finally, if you need a place to simply get some sewing done, both Noisebridge and Tech Shop have sewing machines available to craft to your heart's desire. Noisebridge hosts a sewing and crafting night to help newbies get acquainted, while Tech Shop requires taking a basic safety training course before using their sewing machines. Both facilities are great options.

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Category: Engineering

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Laura Khalil

About the Author ()

Laura is a marketer by day and nerd by night. She's the Chief Nerd Herder for Dorkbyte, a blog devoted to art, technology and science. She's been named one of the most engaging women to speak about technology and has been featured on The Setup. A member of Noisebridge, she is working on two robotics challenges, leading a puzzle team that competes in a variety of puzzle challenges throughout the US and monkeys around on ham amateur radio. She loves astronomy, Making and hardware hacking. She was most recently involved in teaching hardware circuitry at Maker Faire.Laura has executed marketing strategies and campaigns for tech startups in the Bay Area. Her work with social media has been inducted into the Viral Marketing Hall of Fame.