Making Light-Up Fashion: Introduction to Fiber Optics for Wearables
Fiber optics are a beautiful way to add light to wearable tech garments, and are a relatively easy material for beginners to work with. Fiber optics are thin strands of glass or plastic material that transmit light rapidly. Invented in the 1950s, they are commonly used light signals for telecommunications. The fiber optics you’ll use for wearables are specifically designed for lighting effects.
Side Emitting Fibers
Side emitting fibers, or side glow, are designed to allow light to escape across the entire strand, creating a consistent string of light. Use these to create a strand effect or to group multiple strands closely and uniformly together to create an overall glow. This is the best source for side glow cables I’ve found so far – you can purchase 10M to 100M length.
Fiber Optic Bundles
Fiber optics are often sold in bundles, called “multi strand glow cables”. These cables are already grouped together, making it easy to add a light source. These can be used as a bundle to create a dense tube of light, or separated into individual strands.