Involving the Machines (ITM) was a research project that resulted in a collection of woven conductive fabrics. Besides their aesthetic pattern designs, these conductive fabrics possess various electrical properties such as continuous and separated areas of conductivity or resistance, pressure sensitive properties and tilt sensing capabilities.
For more information about the research project Involving the Machines, please visit the Making-of documentation page. For more information about how these fabrics were woven, please visit the Weaving Conductive Fabric page
Involving the Machines Collection
The circular part of this fabric is woven as double layers. It works as a small pocket with conductive material on both side. When spacer or resistive material is inserted in the pocket, it works as a button or as a pressure sensor.
Instead of inserting resistive material in the pocket afterwords, the revised version inserts conductive yarn (80nm from plug and wear) in the weaving process. The conductive yarn stays as float thread at the non button part and gets inserted between the two layers of button pocket part as float in the middle.
You need to cut the float thread after getting out the woven fabric, but it works pretty much as ready made button fabric out of weaving machine.
Tilt Sensor Fabric
Four petals around the orange circle is woven with conductive thread. When center metal bead hanging touches to one of the petal, it makes electrical connection, indicating the tilting angle of the fabric. As you can see in the back side of the fabric, conductive thread is bind with big float allowing us to pull out and use it as connection to the metal bead in the front side.
Jacquard Pattern Conductive Fabric
The outcome fabrics are woven with conductive, resistive and non-conductive (cotton) thread. Both conductive and resistive threads are woven with float on the back so that one can cut the weft connection on the back. Each pattern on the front side of the fabric can act as individual conductive, resistive and non-conductive surface, which can be used as sensor, circuit.. so on.
Cutting the floating conductive threads on the reverse side of the fabric to create separated areas of conductivity and resistance.
The main outcome of this fabric is the below weaving binding palette. By applying these binding according to the electrical characteristic you plan, one can create their own patterned conductive fabric.
The first version had a problem of producing huge amount of waste due to cutting off the float thread and not having a good contact in the warp direction threads. The revised version used only one kind of conductive thread in time (so the weft system uses 2 weft thread at a time, one normal thread and one conductive thread), and instead of 8 shaft satin, it is based on 12 shaft satin to achieve better connection on the warp direction.
Building Block Conductive Fabric
This fabric has long conductive thread float on both side allowing user to cut desired parts to create quick sketching of fabric circuit.
Graphical Conductive Thread
Gray scale graphical image can be converted into 7 different gradients of satin binding to achieve the photo-like textiles. We applied this technique on conductive fabric by using conductive thread (silver plated copper thread) on weft.
Waffle binding makes the textile in 3 dimensional structure. We used this binding with resistive yarn (Bekinox 50/2). The outcome fabric reacts to pressure and stretch making a very interesting tactile sensor.
X/Y Intersection Fabric
Tea-Towel Conductive Fabric
Textured Conductive and Resistive Areas
Plain Resistive Fabric
Striped Conductive Fabric
Stroke Sensitive Fabric