This is the first in a series of posts regarding a recent project which integrated handweaving, fiber optics, and electronics. It’s a part of a costume for a cosplayer at work, but I’ll be discussing my part of it.
For those who can’t wait, here’s what the project looks like in the dark:
And in the light:
In the Beginning
I recently started a new job; when one of my co-workers heard I am a weaver, she approached me with a challenge: to weave fiber optics into a fabric so that it would have an otherworldly glow. Originally the idea was for a Patronus from Harry Potter; we pivoted to a ghost from Ghostbusters.
I spent some time researching on the net; I have only found a couple of other instances of handweavers making fabric with embedded fiber optics. So it’s pushing the envelope in that regard 😉
Just the Facts
- 200 fiber optic strands, 2m in length
- 32 bright LEDs
- Over 100 solder joints
- 5v input
- 640 mA draw
- 2 watt resistor
- “Skirt” is separated into 8 strands, each 4″ wide
- 6.25 fiber optics/inch
- Two types of cotton thread used for fabric structure
- 30 hours loom time
- 10 hours prototype
- 15 hours research and shopping
- 25 hours constructing wiring and LED Harness
- LEDs are swappable
- Two power busses to distribute to LEDs
- Power regulator has a fan.
- Almost everything (except fabric) can be swapped out and/or replaced.
I know this is something of a tease, but I’ll write more soon!