Introduction: DIY Carbon Tape Heated Vest Modular System

Picture of DIY Carbon Tape Heated Vest Modular System
My main idea was to make a modular system that can be used with different clothes. I made two identical heating panels that can be combined into a single vest or attach to any outfit.

It is fully warmed up to 40 degrees in less than one minute.

Step 1: Sewing

Picture of Sewing

Each panel has 2 meters of carbon heated tape fron and now on Amazon. Chose the maximum width of the tape to provide a very even heating. Size panels 34 x 42 cm, since it is better suited for the size of my clothing.
In each panels tape connected in parallel 2x1m and has an independent power button.. It takes about 3A under 12V (36W) for each one or 72W together.

Step 2: "Soldering"

Picture of "Soldering"

You can sew wire to carbon tape to make a good and flexible connection.  The contact place shouldn't be hotter than the tape itself. If not you must increase the contact area. Sewed contact very flexible.

Step 3: Connecting

Picture of Connecting

Contacts may be sewed by sewing machine or just wraped with a wire.
But as you can see sewed contact is colder than the tape itself (left contact).
Wraped contact (on the right) is more hotter than tape.

Step 4: Using As a Modular System

Picture of Using As a Modular System

On each panel sewn 4 pieces of Velcro . Now I can combine them into a single heated vest . A bit like a bulletproof vest:). It's very soft and thin.

Step 5: Using As a Modular System

Picture of Using As a Modular System
Due to Velcro this vest will be comfortable to wear for a big man or a small woman.

Step 6: Using As a Heated Module

Picture of Using As a Heated Module
Each panel can be used independently with any clothes.
On the inner surface of conventional jackets I sewed 4 pieces of Velcro.
Now I can at any time fix the heating panel on a jacket and make it heated.


NealH (author)2013-10-17

where can i find the tape?

Shenzhen (author)NealH2013-11-13

"Carbon heated tape" on Ebay or

emmascott (author)2016-02-18

I am was delighted to find your DIY items. My partner and I have been designing and producing heated wear in NYC. We are interested in finding a manufacturer overseas to produce mass quantities for our line. Would you kindly advise us of any resources you recommend?

With great appreciation and respect,


Shenzhen (author)2015-02-22


GrassHopperJonez (author)2015-02-15

How well would this work for heating a seat? I plan on using a seat from an electric grocery cart to make a tricycle and would like to heat the seat. I was thinking of gluing some padding to the seat, adding a layer of cloth, the adding the carbon fiber, then another layer of cloth. Would that be safe?

Yes it's often used to heat a seat.
Yes it is safe.

Thank you! I'll try to post a pic of it when I'm done.

It's hightly recommended to use a silver glue to make a good contact. Please look at the photo.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Shenzhen (author)2015-02-12

Just imaging and win $100 US dollars!

Shenzhen (author)2014-10-19

There's a promotion on

Make an instruction with the carbon tape on

and get 10 meters of carbon for free!

jjdebenedictis (author)2013-10-18

Dang, I do not want 3A going anywhere close to my body, but I would love to make myself some heated socks this way! My toes are always chilly when I'm sitting at my computer, and 40-degree footsies sounds just divine... :-)

Shenzhen (author)jjdebenedictis2013-10-19

Dear jjdebenedictis,
Especially for you we've just tested it:)

jjdebenedictis (author)Shenzhen2013-10-19

:-D Looks lovely and warm!

BytePilot (author)jjdebenedictis2014-10-06

Hiya, 3 amps at 12 volts isn't going to do you any harm as an electrocution risk. Your skin's natural resistance won't let anything like that much current flow through you unless the voltage is much higher.

You can touch both poles of a 12v car battery at the same time without harm.

That said, don't stick the wires in your mouth, electrons at 12 volts are not grape flavour...

riri75 (author)2014-04-27

i have couple questions about this wonderful vest: what kind of connection wire ve been used? and you said that you used ultra flexible wire for the parallel connections? could i do one with multiple degree of temperatures, that s mean could i controller the temperature and how? how could i prevent the over heating, what kind of electronic stuff could you propose to add for this vest?

astral_mage (author)riri752014-06-30

look up sew-able metal thread.

riri75 (author)2014-05-01

Hi Shenzhen, Thanks for your answer.

Does this carbon tape emits Far infrared radiations?

How many Ohms the surface resistivity of this tape?

It is washable as you mention before, but does conductivity change after while? and do you know after how many washings?

If I wanna to add temperature sensors to the tape and to the body to control the temperature? do you have any solutions?

Thanks once again.

Shenzhen (author)riri752014-05-01

emits Far infrared radiations - yes

Ohms "the surface" resistivity of this tape - 19±1 Ohm/m

Any tissue may be a little worn out after washing.
Any tissue may be a little worn out by use.

The physical properties of the carbon tape is a bit like silk cloth.

The wear rate depends on many factors, and no one can say how many ohms resistance will change after washing or after each day of using/wearing.

temperature sensors ... temperature... any solutions - there
are many ready-made controllers but they are quite expensive and
therefore rarely use even in an industrial

heated clothes.

Comfort zone varies greatly depending on our current status and activities. We rarely need exactly 36.6 degrees.
If a cold wind blowing strong I turn 70 degrees and feel very comfortable.

hegel made it! (author)2014-02-18

My mother has a sewing machine and helped me make this last weekend. I have yet to wire it up to a plug usable in either my bike or car but i'm working on that today.

harthoppy (author)2013-12-16

AWESOME!!! Great idea ! I need one of these up here on this job in Michigan!
can you make me one ?

Shenzhen (author)harthoppy2013-12-17

I'm not a tailor, so I need a week to make it. It will be very expensive vest:)
I think it will be better and cheaper if you can find a seamstress. Just take the tape and Do It Yourself.

harthoppy (author)Shenzhen2013-12-17

sounds like a idea! thanks for the thought !

Rusty101 (author)2013-11-23

Cool idea but a question or two What gauge wire do you use to make the connections and is it the same sized wire to make the parallel connections?

Shenzhen (author)Rusty1012013-11-23

We can use any wire we have. For clothing it's recomended an ultra flexible wire (multi - stranded) cause they are wearproof. The diameter depend on the current.
We can found the correct in AWG table (here for example:
The power consumption and amperage depend on you only. Here some examples below:

1 foot - 24,86W (12V); 31,5W (13,5)
2 ft - 12,4W (12V); 15,7W (13,5V)
3 ft — 8,3W (12V); 10,5 (13,5V)
4 ft — 6,2W (12V); 7,8 (13,5V)

If connect 1ft x 2 in parallel it will be 24,8W +24,8W = 49,6W (12V); 31,5W+31,5W=63W (13,5V)
If connect 1ft x 3 in parallel it will be 24,8W x3 = 74,4W (12V); 31,5W x3=94,5W (13,5V)

2ft x 3 in parallel it will be 12,4W x3 = 37,2W (12V); 15,7W x3=47,1W (13,5V)
2ft x 4 in parallel it will be 12,4W x4 = 49,6W (12V); 15,7W x4=62,8W (13,5V)
2ft x 5 in parallel it will be 12,4W x5 = 62W (12V); 15,7W x5=78,5W (13,5V)
2ft x 6 in parallel it will be 12,4W x6 = 74,4W (12V); 15,7W x6=94,2W (13,5V)

3ft x 5 in parallel it will be 8,3W x5 = 41,5W (12V); 10,5W x5=52,5W (13,5V)
3ft x 6 in parallel it will be 8,3W x6 = 49,8W (12V); 10,5W x6=63W (13,5V)
3ft x 7 in parallel it will be 8,3W x7 = 58,1W (12V); 10,5W x7=73,5W (13,5V)
3ft x 8 in parallel it will be 8,3W x8 = 66,4W (12V); 10,5W x8=84W (13,5V)

4ft x 7 in parallel it will be 6,2W x7 = 43,4W (12V); 7,8W x7=54,6W (13,5V)
4ft x 8 in parallel it will be 6,2W x8 = 49,6W (12V); 7,8W x8=62,4W (13,5V)
4ft x 9 in parallel it will be 6,2W x9 = 55,8W (12V); 7,8W x9=70,2W (13,5V)
4ft x 10 in parallel it will be 6,2W x10 = 62W (12V); 7,8W x10=78W (13,5V)
4ft x 11 in parallel it will be 6,2W x11= 68,2W (12V); 7,8W x11=85,8W (13,5V)
4ft x 12 in parallel it will be 6,2W x12 = 74,4W (12V); 7,8W x12=93,6W (13,5V)

could be great for giving a piece of your mind to anyone spying on you with an IR camera

IamWe (author)2013-10-19

Thanks for your interesting instructable. Carbon infrared heating is the future of heating. Whether as panel on ceiling and wall or as floor fabric; it is radiant heating. As such it will be a supplement to convection heating, only being much cheaper to purchase and use. I was busy with a project for heated clothes till I discovered that the prizes are dropping drastically. I bought a vest with 2 heatpads for 30 euro. Each carbon pad using 700mA. I use a small lead-gel battery for hours of intensive warmth. This battery I carry on my trouser belt.

emiletich (author)2013-10-18

What do you use as a power source?

Shenzhen (author)emiletich2013-10-18

Bike's battery/generator when onboard or 18650 Li-ion battery (2x3 for each panel) when walking.

About This Instructable




More by Shenzhen:DIY Carbon Heated Sleeping Bag V.2.0DIY Carbon Heated Sleeping BagCarbon Heated Elbow / Knee Wrap
Add instructable to: