Picture of DIY heated clothing
UPDATE 10/31/2009:  I finished remaking my pants and I think I've come up with a better stitching pattern.  I'll leave the pictures of the old style just in case someone wants to do it that way.  I'm also updating the parts section. 

This is for those motorcycle riders, who like me, don't know when to quit and can't afford store bought heated clothing.  I'll show you how I made my pants, but the same can be done for a jacket or whatever else you can think of.  I made these last year during the middle of a road trip to battle the bitter cold, and it worked wonderfully.  This is how I did it, I'll put some links to other ways on the last step.  Also, I took the pictures while taking my completed pants apart (I think I can make them better), so there are not many action shots. Sorry and enjoy the instructable.

*  The chief concern with anyone I tell this to is always "Can you catch on fire?".  Well to answer your question, no. If you follow the steps as outlined, there is no chance of you catching on fire.  There are companies that sell clothes made the exact same way, just with nicer looking materials and a higher price tag.  The flash point of most fabrics is much higher than this suit is capable of producing. 
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Kiteman1 year ago
THX 1138 Kiteman9 months ago

According to the post the hamster was burned so yeah, one ecstatic hamster.

sixty7flh1 year ago

just found this. cool. I am looking at a way to make portable pwer? I have the gerbings and love it, but often I am on one of my "old" generator (low output) bikes.. Figured I need a portable solution......

lrdforster3 years ago
I like you idea its very good. i also have an idea to improve it, By using a PWM control you can regulate the tempreture of the wire by pulsing the current. I have biult a PWM circiut for £2-50 stirlin, it fits in a small container and has a potentiometer to regulate the length of the pulse, hence giving full range from full current to no current. A bit like a lamp dimmer switch.

I just joined the site and will post the circiut and instructions soon.
I'd love to see this circuit. I was thinking the same thing about going with an ATtiny85 a mosfet and a momentary pushbutton.
I have published the cct http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-PWM-Control-555-for-Motors-lights-heat but he diagram shows it driving a motot rather than a heater wire
quilter21 year ago
I NEED this to work. But am not riding a motorcycle.
Another electric supply source?
Don't need as much heat. Not sure, how much.
12 years with shingles on leg. Keeping the leg warm...layering isn't enough. Or any type of fleece combination.
I can sew ANYTHING. Industrial machines,etc.
Any help would change my life.
Thanks, Jeanie
You should be able to use any 12v power source( computer power supplies, laptop power supplies, battery pack), just make sure that it can provide enough amps.
Your motorcycles charger will output 14.4V while the engine is running, and about 12.5V when the engine is off.
Eternal662 years ago
wo0x2 years ago
Hi, Nice instructable! I can´t get Teflon wire of 0.25mm. But i can get 0.50mm. Do I have to change something? it works?
i wanna make it for a motorcycle 12vcc.
Tortin2 years ago
During winters i just love to ride. and Its an awesome experience i ever had. Thanks DIY for such a useful tip now i can ride with more safety and reliability. 
would this also work for jeans?
vze1mk7d (author)  DehLeprechaun4 years ago
This could work with any clothing you desire. I just found it easier to work with thermals.

Regarding the 9v battery, if you are talking about the ones used in a smoke detector, then no it won't work. Those batteries are used for low current drain applications. If you got a 9v battery pack or some other large capacity battery, then yes it would work.
do you know how this would fare with cotton like the stuff used in stuffing?
Pete423 years ago
Hi I would like to know if this could be set up for a Dog Electric Blanket, as we have an elderly pet dog, that needs to go out during the day, and I would like to put a safe non mains powered electric blanket in his kennel for him, some thing that will not light him up if it ges wet, and not likely to get to hot.
your ideas would be appreciated, thanks Pete.
cathy369523 years ago
heated jacket, I see one company who can supply the heated jacket, heated gloves, heated socks,heated apparel. especially ,the motorcycle heated jacket, it is very nice . it is with a LED controller button to controller the motorcycle heated jacket's temperature, and it is easy to operate it. following th is the picture. they are website is :http://www.pcamway-heat.com , email: pcamway168@yahoo.com.cn
slomak3 years ago
Hope this question is not too elementary (electronics is not my forte), but I was wondering how to draw heat through resistance wire and not fry the battery. I've taken 2 AA batteries with leads, connected resistance wire (10" length) to both leads to complete a circuit. Got plenty of response and then essentially a dead battery. / If I used more wire (10') would that keep the battery from frying, while still producing heat? Otherwise, how do you draw significant current through the wire without killing the battery?? Thanks for any advice.
vze1mk7d (author)  slomak3 years ago
AA batteries are not really meant for high amperage circuits. And their capacity is usually on the smaller side and it won't take much to drain them. I'm not sure what your circuit is but try using more wire and a battery meant for high drain applications.
oud253 years ago
man i had this idea like 3 months ago and never figured out how to make it work cause i was scared i was gonna electrocute myself
vision0013 years ago
I am building one of these from your instructions into a light zip up sweatshirt which can go under my other jackets. Your design and instructions are great. I found that there was a need for a temp control so I got a PWM from Ebay ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/180749001892?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2648#ht_5308wt_876 ) and it seems to work wonderfully. I have to get a few more switches and plugs inline and get it permanently mounted and then just wait and wait and wait for a cool Florida night to go riding. Thanks so much for the post.
cowboy30593 years ago
another idea for making heated clothing for bikes is go to a truck stop or ebay and buy a 12 volt heated blanket usally get them at tstop for about 35 dollars strip the wiring out buy a roll of metal duck tape from home depot about 7 dollars run the wires inside on the leather in a back and forth pattern taping it down with the metal tape run the long wire with a pre made thermostat out at bottom so doesnt intererfere with your driving and connect to power source your ready to rock and roll they also come with a prewired lighter plug fused took me about 2 hours start to finish product.... very easy way to do it

Roughly how much power is needed to power a setup like this? Could a higher resistance wire be used? Such as nichrome wire? Could a few 18650 batteries power this for a reasonable amount of time?
vasucal4 years ago
Hi Author,
First, i should thank you for this wonderful article. I am planning to start on this in a week's time. I have a scooter. Honda Metropolitan which has a 12v battery and 6Ah capacity. Will this be sufficient for a heated jacket and a heated pant?

Your guidance would be highly appreciated.
wmax351 vasucal4 years ago
Unlikely that a scooter would have enough extra power from the alternator. They are low on power to begin with.
vze1mk7d (author)  vasucal4 years ago
It depends on the charging system of your scooter. I'm not familiar with the Honda Metropolitan, but if the charging system can supply more power than the bike's circuits require, than yes it should work.
Mukumbu4 years ago
Based on your instructable and a post on advrider.com, I made glove liners last year and pants this year. I'm also going to make a jacket in the coming days. Thanks a lot! Here are pics of my liners and pants. I used a fan controller for the controller with the plan of mounting it on the bike. It was a little bigger than I wanted so this year I'm going to use a pwm motor controller like the ones from quality kits.
slim_jim4 years ago
9 volts? It's not the volts, it's the amps. That's like asking if a 1 inch wide garden hose will reach the back yard. Wrong measurement. But to answer your question, no way in hell would a standard 9 volt battery work. (The regular kind, like in a smoke detector. Sometimes called a transistorized battery. It wouldn't power these pants for more than a second.) Now, if you have a big gel cell 9volt battery, sure. No problem.

Heating circuits are hell on batteries. Tons of current drain. You will need a decent sized battery.
Helder4u5 years ago
Nice work:
I have some nice ideas for simplifying the heat wiring and enhance movement freedom.

If anybody is interested leave me a post and I will try to put in an instruction.
(it will be my first)
Hi Helder4u,
I am planning to start working on this idea and would like to have your inputs on simplifying the heat wiring and enhance movement freedom.
Your help is highly appreciated.
i want to use this just for walking around out side could i hook up a 9v battery and get similar results?
Great tutorial. I have a Gerbing jacket that never really fit me right. I think I'll make my own next time.

This does relate to another project that I have in mind. . . I've been thinking about building a few of these to keep my fermenting homebrew warm.

How would you go about doing something like this with a 120v power source? 

Lokisgodhi5 years ago
Cozywinters has some interesting heated products. It's worth taking a look at for some ideas. The have 12v systems as well as rechargeable battery systems.

Warlrosity5 years ago
What about Mr KipKays portable heaty doo dah?
vze1mk7d (author)  Warlrosity5 years ago
I am not sure what you are referring to.
Oh whoopsiedoodle.. its a lil' portable heater
Crucio5 years ago

What do you think of applying this to the insides of chaps?  For a first-time build, it might be easier and has the advantage of being easy to put on/take off.  And the disadvantage of not covering the bottom half of your legs.  But there's a pretty straight-forward solution for that too.

The leather does a pretty good job of wind-breaking, so having this on the inside should do a fine job of keeping you warm.

vze1mk7d (author)  Crucio5 years ago
Personally, I like for the heated clothing to be as close as possible to my skin, because then it's working more efficiently at keeping me warm .  But If I were going to put it on chaps, I would wire it so it put out a little more heat to make up for it being further away from my body.  Also, like you said, it would be very easy as a first time project, and if you don't like the way it works, you have the experience from doing it once already.   So I say give it a shot, and let us know how it turns out.  Just a quick question though.  Do the chaps have a liner?  How will you attach the wires to them?
Crucio vze1mk7d5 years ago
You've got a point about keeping it as close as possible.  Heated chaps are a good compromise for me between efficiency and convenience.  It shouldn't be too bad unless your chaps are really loose.  This also lets me remove some clothing when I get to my sometimes hot office.

Yes, most chaps I've seen have liners.

How to attach the wires?  Good question.  It might be possible to weave them in and out of the liner like you do, above, but ... I think that can get bulky.  I haven't tried this, but I wonder if it's possible to use iron-on patches.  If so and I could reverse the liners, I could iron them on to the leather side of the liner.  That would make this whole project very easy.

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