Electroluminescent wires require an electrical current to illuminate, they can display different colours dependant upon the applied pigment in the protective sleeves and because of this each wire can only display the colour applied in the sleeve.
Their make up consists of a conducting, often copper core then a phosphor coating intertwined with a thin wire, followed by a singular or multiple layers of insulating sleeves, as shown in figure 4.
Figure 4. From Wikipedia
They have been applied in fabric and clothing, but have their disadvantages due to their requirement of electrical voltage to power and due to their construction can have limited ductility and durability. However they have been used to create some quire striking effects, see figure 5.
Figure 5. Electroluminescent wire used in clothing. Image from Urban Space.
Useful links for electroluminescent wire;
- Wikipedia- Electroluminescent wire
- How stuff works- Electroluminescent wire
- Functional Styling- Exploring a textile design space
- Textiles Gain Intelligence