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Traces
  • Etching Flex Circuits
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  • Isolating Traces
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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    E-Textile Tailor Shop by KOBAKANT
    The following institutions have funded our research and supported our work:

    From 2013-2015 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
    Traces

    Isolating Traces

    In most applications it is important to isolate the conductive traces. For stretchy traces this requires a stretchy isolation. So far we have experimented and had good results with: stretchy fabric glue, puffy fabric paint and extra layers of fabric.

    Isolating Stretchy conductive fabric Traces

    Stretchy fabric glue

    For this Aleen’s Stretchy Fabric Glue is the best. It needs to be applied carefully, otherwise it does not look so great. If you have the patience to use sticky or masking tape to tape off the edges then you’ll get the best results because you can use a piece of card to smear the top of the glue evenly without worrying about uneven edges. Taping becomes annoying when traces are curved.
    Once the glue is dry (plan 12-24 hours for this) it can be nice to rub some baby powder or flour on to it to make it less sticky, as it never quite goes mat.

    This method was used to isolate the stretchy conductive traces on the Puppeteer costume for the Language Game performance at LEMUR.

    Stretchy fabric glue with fabric on top

    This method was used to cover the stretchy conductive traces on the Puppeteer costumes for the Perfect Human performance. It is basically the same method as above, but there is no need to level the glue. Before applying fabric strips on top of the glue it is best to wait for it to dry a bit (until it looses its blueish sheen, normally 15-20 minutes is fine) so that the glue does not seep through the fabric and show.

    Sewn fabric cover

    This is actually a very easy method. You basically sew a stretchy tube and either you first fuse the conductive fabric to it, or you can insert it afterwards. This method was used to connect the pressure sensing sole inlays in the Language Game performance to the rest of the Puppeteer costume.

    Isolating Stretchy conductive thread Traces

    Puffy fabric paint

    Leah Buechley often uses puffy fabric paint to isolate her conductive thread traces and I’m sure her results look much better than ours do at the moment
    >> http://thehighlowtech.com/

    Embroidery

    see Lynne Bruning’s Instructable >> http://www.instructables.com/id/Machine_Embroidery_covering_Conductive_Thread/

    Isolating non-stretchy traces

    Stretchy fabric glue on non-stretch fabric

    Because of the softness of the Stretch Conductive Fabric compared to many of the non-stretch conductive materials we like to use it in combination with non-stretch materials to make non-stretch conductive traces. To isolate this we have also used stretchy fabric glue.

    Fusible and fabric

    This can be used for both conductive fabric and thread traces.

    Inside a bias tube

    see Lynne Bruning’s Instructable >> http://www.instructables.com/id/Conductive_Thread_inside_a_Fabric_Bias_Tube/

    Embroidery

    see Lynne Bruning’s Instructable >> http://www.instructables.com/id/Machine_Embroidery_covering_Conductive_Thread/



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