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Apparently there’s a retro vogue going on in the design world when it comes to appliance, lamp, and power cords. Shown here, a selection of colorful braided fabric cable looms available from Sweden’s FRINAB Fristad Industri Aktiebolag. The cable is available in small quantities, online through their NUD Collection brand, which includes a webshop that will sell you either mix-and-match custom lamp cordsets or just the cable. They have 44 different colors and / or patterns; the 10 foot length costs $14, and the longer, 20-foot length actually costs more, on a per-foot basis, at $35.

They’ll send you free samples, too, in the colors of your choice. Shown here is a scan of the card they just sent me, with two three-inch whole cable samples on the left and two loom-only samples on the right. [via adafruit]

NUD Collection

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Travis says:

    Didn’t check the website out yet, but it would be nice if they just sold the braid that you could slip over your own cables. I’m thinking you could do about the same with some colorful shoe laces.

  2. Matt Richardson says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sean! I love these. A couple weeks ago, I was looking for something like this, but all I could find was too “old-timey,” meant for restoring antique lamps, radios, etc. These have just the aesthetic I am looking for.

  3. Will Lyon says:

    Sleeving cables is nothing new :) It’s been a mainstay in the PC modding world for a LONG time now. Here’s my latest mod for proof. It’s about halfway down in this post.
    http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showpost.php?p=340151&postcount=101

    Nice to see there’s some otehr colors and styles now though :)

    1. cale says:

      that is a pretty sweet mod. keep up the awesome work! love the site

    2. dutchfreak says:

      In your post, 5th picture form the button. love what you did to the seal, like a true maker XD

      1. Will Lyon says:

        That shot was planned :D Always need to show the “Warranty Void If Removed” sticker being broken :)

  4. NUD is very nice but it has insane shipping costs out of Germany. There are also some eBay stores that seem to be selling the exact same stuff with cheaper prices and shipping but more narrow selection. I shopped around for some time and found a place on Ebay and contacted their webstore for more variety. But the price was +20% per foot if I ordered via email quote for 30 feet of cable! I couldn’t understand it since you could buy 5 feet in their eBay store for much cheaper. If I can order 30 feet you’d think it would be worth it to them. So I ended up just giving up, can’t get what I want at a decent price.

    1. Steve Andersen says:

      Nud now has North American product representation. and… first, it is not shipped out of Germany. It is shipped out of Sweden. Second, I’ve ordered before and shipping costs are very reasonable… Not sure where you got you info…?? I paid about the same costs as if I had ordered something from the US, about $30 for a medium sized box. The process was easy and should be much easier now that you can work direct with the North American rep.

  5. I buy this stuff on the cheap all the time. Check ebay for Braided Cable Sleeve. It’s just the covering but it’s easy to install on your own wire, and it comes in a ton of colors. It comes in a variety of widths, so carefully check the closed and open diameters before you order.

    1. Steve Andersen says:

      I checked out ebay. nothing at all like this product on ebay. completely different cord. I only saw twisted wire, which is a much stiffer product and very shiny. and that’s fine if that is what works for you. NUD’s cord is very flexible and the fabric is soft and not shiny like the twisted wire on ebay.

      1. L-L says:

        NUD cables are exactly the same quality (or worse) compared to the one that you may find on ebay or on other shops like http://fabriccable.co.uk/ or http://www.creative-cables.co.uk You’re just paying the Brand.

  6. As an earlier commenter said: Shoelaces! Climbing rope work well for power cords too. I used both in this project: http://steampunkworkshop.com/girl-genius-radio-theater-microphone

    1. Sean Ragan says:

      Great tip! Thanks Jake! As always!

    2. Colecoman1982 says:

      Jake,

      First off, I want to say that I love your work. However, I have to disagree, strongly, with your suggestion. Assuming this is a quality product (and not just stylish) it is far more than just fancy patterned fabric wrapping around a power cable. It has, ideally, been tested for flammability and been coated or soaked in flame retardant chemicals in order to reduce the chances of it burning down your house while you’re sleeping (something that, while not easily noticeable, was also done to all those original old-school fabric wrapped power cables).

      On the other hand, shoe laces or climbing rope have no such guarantee of being flame retardant. This threat is very real and is one of the reasons why, at least here in the US, it is very very unusual to see power cables for sale which don’t include some kind of certification symbol on them from a major product safety laboratory like UL, ETL, and/or CSA.

      Since this is an item which will, very likely, be providing power to something for many decades, it has a higher probability of eventually seeing a higher than rated current draw at some point (whether because of the nature of what it’s powering or because of an accidental short caused by something like wear and tear). In that situation, the cable itself can quickly heat up and stay very hot for an extended period of time without anyone noticing (how often do you feel the power cables for stationary appliances you have plugged in at home?). Without some testing to ensure flame retardant capacity this can, and has many times in the past, lead to a horrible house fire at a time when no one is awake/around to notice it beginning.

      As an addendum, I will say that while I do happen to work for an international product safety testing laboratory my statements here are 100% my own opinion and do not represent the opinions of my employer.

      1. rocketguy1701 says:

        Excellent points. Can’t help but note that there is a triple threat here: 1) the covering will insulate the cord and reduce it’s thermal performance, and 2) if there is a problem, you won’t see it, and 3) the already mentioned fuel for the fire, should there be catastrophic failure of the cord.

        We got fabric cords on antique lamps done by a professional and the entire assembly was UL listed. I’m not averse to messing around with electrical stuff, but I do have an aversion to burning down my 100 year old rocket fuel wood frame house.

        1. Steve Andersen says:

          I agree. If you want to do your own project … go for it! but, if you are in the lighting business, developing lighting and selling to the public you would want to use a UL approved product. You don’t have to, but should as most companies buying your product to sell to the public will require it. NUD is a UL approved product. They’ve gone the distance investing in their product, obtaining the proper testing, etc., etc.

  7. Bwhahaha! It amuses me no end that _everytime_ I post in the comments on Make:Blog someone uses the phrase “by a professional” in a reply!

    I’d write some more but I’m busy etching some Stratocaster pickguards in a fish tank full of copper sulfate solution . . . with an old MIG welder.

    1. gianteye says:

      Nothing in the universe will ever be “safe”. There are only degrees of unsafely ranging from probably not exceedingly harmful up to immediate and painful death.

      In the far flung future when we’re cruising the shores of the hyper-brain galactic omni-net people will still feel perfectly justified in writing posts about how you shouldn’t unscrew the back of your tricorder because the batteries could leap out, lodge themselves in your throat, and explode your eyeballs all across your google glasses.

      I suppose the best lesson here is that we all elect our levels of comfort with risk in our lives. We should strive to be informed about our choices, but should accept that a falling air conditioner could wipe you out like a tea stain in an instant whether you wear your orange safety helmet or not.

      1. Agreed! We take calculated risks all of the time in the pursuit of joy and art. Safety comes third.

        1. We basically calculate the odds of succeeding, versus the odds we might fail and go ahead with it anyway. You learn something either way. ^^

          1. rocketguy1701 says:

            My risk assessment is two factor, odds and consequences. And my responses are then tailored to the appropriate level of caution based on the interplay of both. Well, odds also includes the level of certainty, which may be wide or narrow depending.

    2. rocketguy1701 says:

      In my defense, I probably should have mentioned that I had farmed out the job “to a professional” not because I didn’t feel comfortable doing it, I just didn’t have time. I was in the middle of a huge renovation, which I acted as an assistant to a master electrician, so I did quite a bit of the wiring in the house, and just finished doing all of it for my workshop. Life is risk, for sure, learning to manage it effectively (ignoring codes or not) is in the end safer than nerf-world avoidance. Sorry if I gave a different impression, it was mostly a thought exercise for me…

      1. rocketguy1701 says:

        PS- just printed out a guitar pick with my 3D printer, does that count?

        1. Ha! Only if you did it naked. ;)

          I suppose it’s the intimation that an individual armed with a general understanding of physics and materials can’t make something that’s safe that gets under my skin, it just goes against the Maker credo.

          1. rocketguy1701 says:

            Next time I’ll stick my tongue on the build platform.

            I get insulted when someone presumes that with a knowledge of physics I couldn’t build something sufficiently dangerous…

        2. trkemp says:

          Since you skimped on the nitrocellulose in your guitar pick I suggest you insulate your lamp wiring with it. That’s sure to give you crazy-maker cred.

    3. Colecoman1982 says:

      Eh, you are, of course, free to do whatever you’d like but I would just point out that you’re unlikely to leave that MIG Welder etching setup running for hours on end and leave it unattended in your livingroom, bedroom, etc. On the other hand, something like a beautiful retro art-piece table lamp (which someone might be more inclined to use a retro-style fabric wrapped power cord on) will probably be used that way for many many years.

      It’s all relative to what you’re doing. In this case, however, there is no “experimenting” to do. Cotton wrapped power cords on appliances have already been done to death in the past. The reason they started soaking them in fire retardant is because a lot of people were dieing in house fires.

      That said, I personally don’t think there’s any reason someone would have to hire a pro to rewire something like that as long as they have access to safety rated power cords (though I can understand his concern when dealing with a nice old house like that).

      1. rocketguy1701 says:

        Also without my electrician signing off on it, I wouldn’t be able to get house insurance. More importantly, my Wife would be displeased.

  8. [...] dutchfreak: In your post, 5th picture form the button. love what you did to the seal, like a true maker XD [...]

  9. [...] as usual to our splendid commentariat for the great response on yesterday’s fabric-jacketed power cable post. Thanks especially to Travis, Will, and MAKE cover boy Jake von Slatt for sharing some of the DIY [...]

  10. sofia says:

    This is iteresting but I bought mines at http://www.tricotlight.com... it is cheaper than NUD

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