Placement

When placing your connections, keep in mind that the flow of current through the material will dictate how the fabric heats up. The heat will be concentrated at the sources of current and radiate along its path and outward. You can see this in the examples below, where I experimented with connection placement.

Always use caution when working with exposed metal connections and heat. Turn off power to your circuit before moving connections or making changes.

For these tests, I used a 5" square of conductive heater fabric and connected a 12V power supply using alligator clips. I placed a piece of cotton broadcloth painted with thermo-reactive fabric paint on top of the heater fabric. The blue areas in each image show the heated areas.

projects_78HeaterFabricTests.jpg

projects_256HeaterFabricTests.jpg

2 Connections on the Same Side

projects_77HeaterFabricTests.jpg

projects_75HeaterFabricTests.jpg

2 Connections on Opposite Sides

projects_73HeaterFabricTests.jpg

projects_70HeaterFabricTests.jpg

Two Connections Across Corner

projects_69HeaterFabricTests.jpg

projects_68HeaterFabricTests.jpg

Four Connections on Opposite Sides

projects_60HeaterFabricTests.jpg

projects_52HeaterFabricTests.jpg

Four Connections Across Corners

projects_67HeaterFabricTests.jpg

projects_61HeaterFabricTests.jpg

Keep in mind:

1. The distance between your power and ground wires matters - if they are too close you will get a very hot spot that could smoke/burn, and if they are too far apart the heat will concentrate around each connection point.

2. If you decide to connect power and ground in multiple places along the piece of fabric, the distance between each set of power and ground connections must be consistent. If one set of connections is closer together, the heat will concentrate between them.

This guide was first published on Mar 27, 2018. It was last updated on Mar 27, 2018. This page (Placement) was last updated on Jul 17, 2019.