Coolest Inventions: In The Mode

IL-LOOM-INATION

If only this stuff had been around in the disco era. Luminex is a new kind of fabric that glows--literally. It's not shiny, it's not glow in the dark; it actually gives off its own light. Designers took tiny, flexible optical fibers developed for high-energy physics experiments and wove them into ordinary fabric. Power comes from an ordinary battery sewn into the cloth. Luminex is being used in stage costumes, handbags and curtains as well as clothing. The makers are even talking about adding smart chips to the fabric that could make it glow in flashing patterns. Look for a...

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