DIY Carbon Tape Heated Trousers




About: DIY carbon heated clothing.

If you only knew, how nice to hang around for hours in the cold winter, laying in the snow, sit on a cold snowmobile or on icy log... if you wear heated trousers:)

I made them in 3 hours. Maybe you could do it even better, all in your hands!


Step 1: Shopping List

1.) 2 pair of inexpensive sport trousers in local store.

2.) 4.8 meters (16 ft) of 15 mm carbon fiber heating tape and now on Amazon

3.) 3 meters (10 ft) of 18 AWG ultra flexible wire. Conductor Type:150/0.08

4.) A silver glue.

5.) Thread and needle.

6.) RF dimmer.

7.) 12 v battery or any power source.

8.) 5 meters (16 ft) of Iron-on no-sew hem tape.

Step 2: A Little Theory...

The main advantage of carbon fiber tape is resistance to repeated bending.

Unlike a nichrome wire heater or similar, carbon tape provides uniform heating since it is much wider. In addition, it is very soft to the touch like a normal cloth and doesn't interfere in the clothes.

That's why it often used in heated clothing.


Look at the table. You can find the carbon tape length for needed temperature at 12 Volt.

I chose 38 degrees Celsius, so cut 1.2m of 15 mm carbon tape (4 pieces) and connected them in parallel.

1 piece of carbon consumes 0,59 Amper so 4 pieces:

0,59 x 4 = 2,36 A.

My 18650 batteries have 3,4 A/h so the run time is:

3,4 : 2,36 = 1,4 hour.

I've bought a RF dimmer and can smoothly change the power. On 50% it lasts more than 3 hours.

Step 3: How to Place Carbon Tape

I put the tape zigzag to uniformly heat up. Under the carbon tape put iron-on hemming web tape.
Gently press the carbon tape with an iron that is stuck to the fabric.

As you can see, I used only four pieces of carbon tape (two for front and two for back). You can make your oun drawing to better heat where you need it. For example, you can use 6 pieces of tape to make the heat more evenly.

Step 4: How to Connect Carbon Tape

Sew the wire. Strip the end of the wire and twist.
Apply a little silver glue on the end of carbon tape. Attach the wire at the top and sew it tight. Apply the silver on the tape and wire. Allow to dry 30 minutes and apply silver again to make contact more reliable. Connect the RF dimmer if you would like make it dimmable.

Step 5: Cover the Carbon Heater Tape

The carbon tape is an open wire. To avoid short-circuiting the tape needs to close with some insulator, for example, another cloth.

Put on top the second trousers. Make a little hole for the connection wires and put them out.

Sew legs and beits together.

Step 6: Power It!

You can just put the battery in your pocket, or use the velcro and stick it to the belt.

DIY carbon heated trousers ready. Click on the button and you will be warm and comfortable in any cold!

Step 7: That Magic Carbon Tape

Will be soon...

Step 8: And Yes, You Can Wash It!



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50 Discussions

panic mode

4 years ago on Introduction

thanks, very nice cible! I like the links and prices... I like the dimmer too :-)

did not know about silver glue but checking it right now.

btw. how does the end product stand up to moisture / washing? I was thinking about something similar but using rivets as connection for wires.

3 replies
Shenzhenpanic mode

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Carbon tape from careful washing does not deteriorate, but when washing wires sometimes break.


Reply 1 year ago

If I made these, could I "dry clean" them?


Reply 1 year ago

Some kind of dry clean means using a solvent. If you used silver glue, it can dissolve during dry cleaning. I just wash my heated clothes in a washing machine.


4 years ago

Dose anyone have a link to buy the RF Dimmer for someone in the US? The link to ebay here shows it won't ship to me. I'd like to build the project for next winter. It doesn't get sub temperature that often in Oklahoma but my main mode of transportation is motorized bicycle and this would be good to stay warm with a headlight generator powering it. I'm thinking pants, long sleeve shirt/coat and possibly gloves. (I'm not sure one generator would power all three but I'd be willing to try or have 2-3)

1 reply

4 years ago on Introduction

Do i really need silver glue? can i replace with other stuff like solder wire? do i need
iron-on tape or, can i sew direct on pants? Finally, lol, do i need specificaly this kind of flexible wire or any wire is good? Thanks. Sign: Canadian coming to Shenzhen in few weeks, funny thing ;)

3 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Do i really need silver glue? - yes.

Do i really need silver glue? - unfortunately, no.

do i need iron-on tape or, can i sew direct on pants? - yes, you can sew it.

i need specificaly this kind of flexible wire or any wire is good? - "any wire" can break very quickly.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Sorry about the second question. I mean we cannot use other stuff like solder wire. But you can just put a wire on the tape and sew them together. It is not so reliable as silver and the wire will oxidize after a few month.


4 years ago on Introduction

I always enjoy your carbon tape stuff. On this design though it seems odd that you laid it out such that the wires have to go all the way down and up the legs. It seems that minimizing wire and maximizing carbon fiber provides the greatest comfort and washing machine durability. Wouldn't it have been better (though at twice the cost of carbon fiber) to run the fiber down then back up to the waist in one piece of twice the length (and running another the same way in parallel to get the resistance back to the original value)?

2 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

You want to hand wash these. Beating them up in the machine, why spend all that money and time to ruin them? wear an inner layer and heat a middle or outer layer and they shouldn't need washing too often.


Reply 4 years ago

Yes, you right this isn't the best pattern for wires but repeatable for every one I hope.

I haven't seen hot pants since the '70's. I concur with an earlier post and their concerns about the calculations provided. I don't know much about Snowmobiles but I think those who ride them would benefit from connecting such clothing to the snowmobiles 12 v.d.c supply while in operation. Silver glue? I've never heard of that but I'm going to learn about it momentarily. Thanks!


4 years ago on Introduction

I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis so bad it's hard to work outside with my hands if it gets below say 50F.I have been looking at heated gloves that heat the fingers where I also suffer from circulation problems(most only heat palms).Everthing I saw was at least $65.I didn't imagine you could buy the tape seperately,thinking it was some super special item.You've now gave me inspiration to make my own.Thank You!

2 replies