Cloak of Many Lights

17 July, 2011

At long last, I have finished my cloak, ready for the cold, dark, beautiful Burning Man nights:

Utterly out of place in a Dublin townhouse. Entirely normal on the Playa.


It’s made from black material, with four strings of white LEDs stitched on, and covered with two layers of organza: white on the bias, and blue straight up.

The layers are open at the bottom to let the dust out.


This is because the organza catches the light along its grain, horizontally and vertically. By adding another layer at 45º, each LED becomes an eight-pointed star.

The real thing looks much cooler.

Impossible to photograph, so you get a diagram instead.

It’s powered by four battery packs held in pouches, two on each side. The plan is to recharge the batteries during the day using solar power.

The dirt-cheap battery holders are only really held together by the pouches.

Broke my own rule again: never sew anything sticky.

Every part of this project has been sewn, picked apart and redone at least once. This is partly because I’m not much of a dressmaker, but mostly because organza is incredibly uncooperative stuff.  It cannot be glued, melted or sewn together in any normal way. It frays if you look at it. It sends out long tentacles of thin, stretchy, strong, invisible thread that attach themselves to your surroundings whenever your back is turned. It is impossible to know both where it is and how long it is, which makes it remarkably difficult to cut into right angles.

So pretty, so infuriating.

I have a love-hate relationship with this stuff.

But it’s finished, and I cannot wait to try it out.

Don't be alarmed; I am not actually teleporting.

Long exposure fun.

So there you go: my Cloak of Many Lights. There are a few others like it (with more LEDs), but this one is mine.


  1. My God – it’s full of stars…

  2. We can’t all be stars but we can all twinkle, especially you!

  3. Magic combo of stuff, hope I get to see it, looks stunning in photo

  4. That is fantastic! How well will it keep the dust off of you?

    • It won’t. Nothing does. But that’s ok 😀

  5. […] a grand blog « Cloak of Many Lights The Man burns in 22 days 12 August, […]

  6. […] people: you make it so that you can talk to them, however briefly. The gifts are not the point. The costumes are not the point. The fishing is not the point. The Man is not the point. It’s all just an […]

  7. Just gorgeous Becky. . . Wear it to singing some Thursday please – we’ll turn all the lights off and sing “Let your little light shine.”

    • Sadly I left it with a friend in Berkeley along with the rest of the Burning Man gear 😦

  8. […] Colour Stealing Cloak is version two of the Cloak of Many Lights. It looks similar, with twinkly white lights under layers of organza*. But this one is different. […]

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