Screen Printing Electroluminescent Lights On Garments
Today AMBRO Labs successfully screen printed an electroluminescent light on a t-shirt. Over the last several months we’ve been experimenting with various techniques to print EL on fabric without success. Screen printing electroluminescent lights on garments will offer Makers and DIY enthusiasts a flexible and washable solution for their light up wearable projects. This methodology also enables retail and production pieces the flexibility of offering illumination on fabric without the need for hard and inflexible circuitry.
As you have seen from some of our other experiments, we’ve sewn EL tape and EL panels directly onto fabric. We’ve also sewn traditional LEDs to fabric. Even thought wearable LED’s, known as Neopixels, are readily available and offer a great option to add light to your garments. We wanted to be able to fully integrate a light source directly into the fibers of a fabric that offers illumination and flexibility.
We’ve screen printed our first successful prototype today. This proof of concept shows that our EL screen printing technology works for fabric and garments. Our next steps will be to integrate the EL screen printed fabric with sewable electronics including conductive thread and popular wearable platforms.
While screen printing electroluminescent lights on garments is a good first step, we would like to provide this capability to the DIY and Maker community via the use of transfer / iron on technology. Further experimentation will be necessary in order to achieve this goal.
We see a portable version of our screen printing EL technology where makers can use a standard house hold iron to apply a flexible EL panel to their wearable projects.