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Sensors
  • 3D Printed Sensors
  • Balloon Sensor
  • Circular Knit Inflation Sensor
  • Circular Knit Stretch Sensors
  • Conductive Pompom
  • Constructed Stretch Sensors
  • Crochet Button
  • Crochet Conductive Bead
  • Crochet finger Sensor
  • crochet pressure sensor
  • Crochet Tilt Potentiometer
  • Crochet/Knit Pressure Sensors
  • Crochet/Knit Squeeze Sensors
  • Danish Krown Slide-Switch
  • Embroidered Potentiometers
  • Fabric Button
  • Fabric Potentiometer
  • Fabric Stretch Sensors
  • felted crochet pressure sensor
  • Felted Pompom Pressure Sensor
  • Finger Sensor
  • Knit Ball Sensors
  • Knit Contact Switch
  • Knit Stroke Sensors
  • Knit Touchpad
  • Knit Wrist Sensors
  • Knit Accelerometer
  • Knit Stretch Sensors
  • Light Touch Pressure Sensor
  • Neoprene Bend Sensor
  • Neoprene Pressure Sensor
  • Neoprene Pressure Sensor Matrix
  • painted stretch sensor
  • Piezoresistive Fabric Touchpad
  • Pompom Tilt Sensor
  • Simple Fabric Pressure Sensors
  • Stickytape Sensors
  • Stroke Sensor
  • Tilt Sensor
  • Woven Pressure Sensor Matrix
  • Zipper Slider
  • Zipper Switch
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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    The following institutions have funded our research and supported our work:

    From 2013-2014 Mika is a guest professor at the eLab at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee

    From July - December 2013 Hannah was a researcher at the UdK's Design Research Lab

    From 2010-2012 Mika was a guest researcher in the Smart Textiles Design Lab at The Swedish School of Textiles

    From 2009 - 2011 Hannah was a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab's High-Low Tech research group led by Leah Buechley


    In 2009 Hannah and Mika were both research fellows at the Distance Lab


    Between 2003 - 2009 Hannah and Mika were both students at Interface Cultures
    We support the Open Source Hardware movement. All our own designs published on this website are released under the Free Cultural Works definition

    Sensors

    Light Touch Pressure Sensor


    To make custom fabric pressure sensors that react to even the lightest touch. Ideally less than 10g of force.

    Balloon Sensor


    Sewn from pieces of non-conductive stretch jersey and Eeontex piezoresistive knit stretch fabric. The fabric of this ball with a balloon inside stretches when the balloon is inflated and the Eeontex fabric becomes less conductive the more it is stretched. Two contacts sewn with conductive thread on either side of one of the Eeontex segments […]

    Danish Krown Slide-Switch


    Two danish 1 Krone coins strung on conductive thread. When the coins meet the electrical contact between the threads is bridged, thus closing the “switch”. There are so many different kinds of materials in the world! Conductive, resistive, pizeoresistive, semi-conductive, non-conductive. We use them every day, in all kinds of different ways. Why not use […]

    3D Printed Sensors


    Attempts to 3D print a variety of sensors from conductive ABS material in collaboration with FabLab Berlin. Interestingly the resistance of the material decreases when bent, implying that the electrical connections are being broken in the material because it is being stretched or damaged. When pressured the resistance through the material decreases.

    Knit Ball Sensors


    A series of balls knit on double-bed flat-bed knitting machine that incorproate conductive and resistive yarns to allow them to be stretch, pressure, scrunch and touch sensitive. Using lilypad Arduinos with FTDI and USB cables as well as ATtinys with Bluetooth to send sensor data to computer for visualization and sound feedback.

    Crochet Conductive Bead


    If you don’t have a heavy metal bead at hand to make a Fabric Tilt Sensor with, you can make a heavy conductive bead by crocheting conductive thread around a glass marble.

    Knit Wrist Sensors


    Using resistive yarn to detect movement and angles of the wrist.

    Woven Pressure Sensor Matrix


    Interweaving layers of conductive fabric, non-conductive fabric, velostat or Eeontex to create a pressure sensitive matrix/grid.

    Finger Sensor


    A sensor that captures the movements of your pointing finger. Crochet from steel yarn that has stretch sensitive properties (electrical resistance decreases when steel fibers in the yarn are compressed through pressure or stretch)

    Piezoresistive Fabric Touchpad


    This fabric touchpad was inspired by the properties of piezoresistive materials to measure both amount of pressure applied through the materials and increase of resistance across distance. It is made by layering piezoresistive material between two conductive layers and using the piezoresistive layer to alternatively measure position and pressure.

    Crochet/Knit Squeeze Sensors


    This squeeze sensor can be made by knitting or crocheting a ball including resistive yarn. The ball can then be stuffed with different materials to achieve different kinds of squishiness. The ball can also be hand or machine felted, giving the surface a more uniform appearance.

    Knit Accelerometer


    When you knit with conductive yarn, it changes the resistance when stretched. So, I thought of making an accelerometer with same principle. The weight at the end pulls and stretches the knitted structure as it gets accelerated. It works the best when this sensor (more of an object) is turned around like hammer throwing, or […]

    felted crochet pressure sensor


    Here, I have crochet conductive yarn with felting yarn and felted it afterwards. It works great as pressure sensor. Making Here is the crochet piece before felting. I mixed Schoeller Nm 10/3 conductive yarn with hippy rainbow color felting yarn. Now it is time to felt. Place the crochet piece on the bowl. Pour hot […]

    Zipper Slider


    By using high-resistance conductive thread instead of conductive fabric, you can make a slider (potentiometer) with zippers. Unlike zipper switch, this sensor gives analog values instead of “ON/OFF”.

    Zipper Switch


    A Zipper is a great clothing material that can be converted into sensors. Zipper switch is a known technique used in many projects like TV-B-Gone-Hoodie by Becky Stern. It is also introduced in “Fashioning Technology” book by Syuzi Pakhchyan.

    Pompom Tilt Sensor


    This is a combination of conductive pompom and tilt sensor. The advantage is that the pompom has much bigger and softer surface than metal bead, which helps for it to touch the tilt detecting conductive fabric. Also it gives a certain look, that may be desired for some projects.

    Felted Pompom Pressure Sensor


    also see: conductive pompom, pompom tool Make pressure sensor ball by felting a pompom composed of wool and conductive steel fibers.

    Circular Knit Stretch Sensors


    Use of a circular knitting machine to knit a circular stretch sensor from combinations of conductive and non-conductive yarns.

    Embroidered Potentiometers


    also see: crochet tilt potentiometer, fabric potentiometer, time sensing bracelet, Made using the zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to sew/embroider a conductive and a resistive trace side by side. Then any conductive object can be used to bridge the contact between the traces and measure the position/distance from measuring point through the change in […]

    Crochet finger Sensor


    As it mentioned in CROCHET OR KNIT SIMPLE PRESSURE SENSOR post, the properties of the conductive yarn is sensitive to pressure or stretch. So, if you knit or crochet the conductive yarn to shape of finger, it can be a finger sensor like Sensitive Finger Tips project, but with crochet material instead of fabrics. These […]

    Conductive Pompom


    From conductive yarn you can make a conductive pompom, just like you would make a regular pompom. You can also mix conductive and regular thread to both save on the conductive yarn and also for aesthetics. Use conductive thread to fasten the pompom together, both because it is more conductive and will make for a […]

    Circular Knit Inflation Sensor


    Using the circular knitting machine to knit a circular tube with the Schoeller 50/2 conductive yarn, makes for an excellent stretch sensor that can be used (among other things) to capture the pressure of a balloon inflating and deflating.

    Crochet/Knit Pressure Sensors


    Because of the properties of the conductive yarn to be sensitive to pressure or stretch it can be knit or crochet into any shape and will react to to pressure with a decrease in resistance. By setting a threshold in software this sensor can also be used as a switch.

    Crochet Button


    By using conductive yarn as electrodes, you can create a simple button with crochet. The construction idea is very similar to fabric button.

    crochet pressure sensor


    Here is the crochet pressure sensor. The main principle is same as regular pressure sensor. Instead of conductive fabric or thread, I used conductive yarn from Schoeller, Nm 50/2 60/40 Pes/Inox @ Euros 65.00/kg (25,000 metres/kg). Since this yarn is very thin, it is mixed with normal yarn and crochet, which is what you can […]

    Crochet Tilt Potentiometer


    Combination of tilt sensing and potentiometer using regular wool and conductive wool from Schoeller.

    painted stretch sensor


    The experiment results of carbon paint painted on various stretchy fabrics. It shows resistance difference when stretched. The paints are applied by simple stencil method with sticky tapes.

    Knit Stroke Sensors


    Knitting with taught elastic, causing the knit structure to bunch up and create ruffels of loops that can be used for stroke sensing.

    Constructed Stretch Sensors


    I have tried various methods, such as knitting and stitching with resistive thread, applying carbon paint to jersey, mixing conductive fibers with stretchy fabric glue, stretching various conductive materials to see if this changes their conductive properties… and some of it worked, sometimes inconstantly or even incoherently or just wore out over time too quickly.

    Knit Stretch Sensors


    WORK IN PROGRESS Exploring different possibilities to knit stretch sensors.

    Knit Contact Switch


    This sensor is the very first example of something I made with the circular knitting machine.

    Stroke Sensor


    This sensor senses stroke in multiple directions. Using a technique similar to that for carpet making, conductive threads are distributed in patches and patches are connected together on the back side. Within the patches the threads are connected and when the threads of one patch make contact with the threads of another patch, this can […]

    Fabric Potentiometer


    Following the same principal that you’ll find inside a traditional round and slider potentiometers. Both contain a wiper finger (conductive) and a resistive track. Normally both ends of the restive track end in separate measuring point tabs, as does the wiper finger. Thus you can choose to measure from either of the restive track tabs […]

    Stickytape Sensors


    These sensors measure pressure and can also be designed and placed to measure bend. They work on the simple principal that Velostat reacts to pressure with a decrease in electrical resistance. When sandwiched between two conductive layers, this change in resistance can be easily measured and used as an indication of how much pressure is […]

    Simple Fabric Pressure Sensors


    Variations of very simple fabric pressure sensors made from various resistive fabrics sandwiched between conductive layers. This is an ongoing experimentation. Similar to the neoprene Bend and Pressure Sensors and the Stickytape Sensors, these also make use of the resistive changes of various materials under pressure. Variations in pressure sensitivity and stability can be achieved […]

    Knit Touchpad


    This rectangular piece of knit, cut from an anti-static glove, has different resistance ranges, depending if you measure across the rows or columns of the stich. >> Instructable The range of resistance across the columns of stiches is about 30K Ohm. The range of resistance across the rows of stitches is about 90 K Ohm. […]

    Neoprene Pressure Sensor Matrix


    Four separate pressure sensors not only give feedback about where I’m pressing, but also how hard.

    Fabric Stretch Sensors


    Creating stretch sensors from stretchy fabrics that have conductive/resistive properties that change depending on the stretching of the fabric. I’m hoping this will allow to make super simple stretch sensors and lead to other interesting possibilities.

    Tilt Sensor


    Combining beads and other decorative elements with conductive textiles to create tilt sensitive designs. A bracelet decorated with six conductive fabric petals and a row of beads with a metal bead on the end, makes for a simple six point tilt detection. It is also designed so that the metal bead will make contact with […]

    Neoprene Pressure Sensor


    also: neoprene pressure sensor, conductive thread Pressure Sensor Stitching conductive thread into neoprene to create a pressure sensitive pad. This sensor is very similar to the Fabric bend sensor or vis-versa. And also close to the Fabric Pressure Sensor, but the difference is that the conductive surface is minimized by stitching only a few stitches […]

    Fabric Button


    also: soft button, textile button, soft switch These super simple fabric buttons are soft, fun to push and can come in handy when building various prototypes. They all share the same ground or plus, depending on what you hook what up to.

    Neoprene Bend Sensor


    also: neoprene bend sensor, conductive thread Bend Sensor, Bend Sensor (thread) This bend sensor actually reacts (decreases in resistance) to pressure, not specifically to bend. But because it is sandwiched between two layers of neoprene (rather sturdy fabric), pressure is exerted while bending, thus allowing one to measure bend (angle) via pressure.