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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:

    Since 2020, Hannah is guest professor of the Spiel&&Objekt Master's program at the University of Performing Arts Ernst Busch in Berlin

    From 2013-2015 Mika was 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

    Embroidery gone Electronic

    July 28+29 2012, 10am – 5pm, MQ, Vienna/Austria
    Info and registration: office@mqw.at Location: Raum D, MuseumsQuartier

    This workshop will take place in the year 2037. Imagine a future in which electronics have become expensive goods, that only the rich can afford and only skilled craftsman are trusted to work into functional electronic artifacts. In this future scenario it has become common practice for wealthy individuals to commission custom handcrafted electronics reminiscent of pre-industrial eras.

    Workshop interview by OE24 >> http://www.oe24.at/video/summer-of-fashion/videoArticle/Austro-Hungarian-Embroidery-gone-Electronic/73825394

    Video of workshop atmosphere:

    Participants will experience first hand the making of Exquisite Electronics and produce their very own piece of hand-embroidered electronic Haute Couture. The workshop will cover traditional embroidery techniques, using contemporary conductive materials, such as conductive threads, fibers, fabrics and yarns, to create highly decorative circuitry with unique functionality.

    The workshop not only introduces a range of e-textile techniques, but also draws attention to issues surrounding electronic textiles, such as e-waste, diminishing resources, the industrialization of craftsmanship and the impacts of globalization. By raising these topics we hope to start a discussion among the makers of electronic textiles in order to project a more futuristic future vision of skilled craftsmanship as it may be applied to electronics. The workshop will last 2 days and will be open to the general public. A maximum of 15 participants will be able to attend the workshop, and while previous experience working with either textiles or electronics is encouraged, the workshop is open to everybody eager to learn and master a new set of skills.

    Participants at Work

    Workshop Directions

    Technosensual Visit


    In the workshop we will focus on embroidery techniques for making soft circuits and fabric speakers. We ask that each of you imagine yourself in this future scenario as an artisan commissioned to make a unique textile electronic. Your commissioner is looking for a custom designed handkerchief that allows them to interact with sound coming from a fabric speaker. Imagine who has commissioned you to do the work and how you will tailor it to their person. There is no need for you to prepare anything in advance of the workshop, but if you get excited about your commission, you might want to do some research on handkerchiefs, and on the person you are working for. Look at the history of handkerchiefs and their roles as utilitarian, but also decorative items. The person you are making the handkerchief for could be somebody famous, somebody fictional or somebody you know. What style of embroidery would suit them, what colours, and how will they interact with their handkerchief to make sound?

    Participant Creations

    Luba’s Warm/Cold Handkerchief for ladies to indicate attraction or distance to a man.

    Cecilia’s Jewelry Handkerchief for rich ladies to show what they can afford.

    Karen Marie’s Relationship Handkerchiefs that play unique sounds depending on which two handkerchiefs come together.

    Lydia’s Camelion Handkerchief that plays different sounds, depending on how you play with it.

    Vanessa’s Eye Handkerchief that plays sounds when it blinks.

    Marcela’s Spider-web Handkerchief commissioned by a rich and lonely lady with no time or skills to make social contacts, to help her catch her pray.

    Jimmy’s Fashionable Pocket Handkerchief that plays a note when squeezed.

    Uta’s Alarm/Family Melody Handkerchief that can be worn fashionably and set to either play and alarm sound or a recognizable family melody when squeezed at the corner. Unfolding the handkerchief allows for the additional soothing interaction of playing music.

    Anneliese’s Jellyfish Handkerchief that looks beautiful and makes sound when you touch its tentacles.

    Barbara’s Handkerchief made by a rich individual for children to explore space.

    Monika’s Rememberance Handkerchief commissioned by the Government Office of Elderly Affairs for elderly people to have as a tactile item they can physically interact with to play melodies that remind them.

    Maya’s Scarf for David Bowie.

    Martina’s Speakers.

    Karina’s Handkerchief for rich ladies to fall asleep with at the opera.


    Saturday 28 July 2012
    9am meet in Raum D at the MuseumsQuartier, introductions
    10-1pm introduction to embroidery techniques and embroidering circuitry
    1-2pm lunch break
    2-5pm sketch and finalize designs
    5:30pm tour of Technosensual exhibition with curator Anouk Wipprecht

    Sunday 29 July 2012
    9am: gather in Raum D
    9-1pm work
    1-2pm lunch break
    2-4pm work
    4-5pm show and tell
    5-7pm chance to go see the Technosensual exhibition



    >> MQ Workshop announcement
    >> Fabric Speakers
    >> Handkerchief
    >> The Crying Dress
    >> Microcontroller code
    >> Download presentation (pdf)
    >> Hannah’s workshop photos

    >> Mika’s workshop photos

    Handout PDF: Embroidery Stitch

    Photos of Example Handkerchief

    Materials and Tools (20 Euro total per person)

    Here is a list of costs for materials that participants will receive:
    – 5.71 Euro (4.49 GBP, plus shipping) for Lipo battery
    >> http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/lithium-polymer-battery-110mah-p-778.html
    – 0.38 Euro for JST socket
    >> http://at.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6881353P/
    – 2.61 Euro for ATtiny85 microcontroller
    >> http://at.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6962327/
    – 0.33 Euro for TIP122 transistor
    >> http://at.rs-online.com/web/p/products/3136900/
    – 2 Euro for strong magnets (plus shipping)
    >> http://www.magnet-magnete.eu/ndfeb-magnete-zylinder-klein-g1-231.html
    – 2 Euro for Fabric
    – 2 Euro for embroidery floss
    – Karl Grimm conductive thread (call them to ask for samples or find out about prices!)
    >> http://www.karl-grimm.com/navi.swf
    – Fusible interfacing from your local fabric store or online
    >> http://www.joann.com/heat-n-bond-ultra-hold-iron-on-adhesive-17-x12-/prd49052/
    – Extra: to charge your Lipo battery,we recommend the following USB charger: 8.60 Euro for Lipo charger
    >> http://physicalcomputing.at/shop/article_A-1121100/LiPo-Basic-Lader.html?shop_param=cid%3D4%26aid%3DA-1121100%26

    7 Comments so far

    1. KOBAKANT on May 14th, 2012

      […] Workshop website >> http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=3444 […]

    2. Karina on May 14th, 2012

      I’m writting to reserve a place on the “Embroidery gone electronic” workshop, during July 28 29 in Mq.
      I’m studying digital art, last year having lessons with Stefanie Wüschitz—>I missed your workshop last year, so I would love having the oportunity to be there on July.

      Looking forward for your answer,

      Karina Fernandez

    3. Marcela on May 24th, 2012


      I’m taking contact to ask for a place on the “Embroidery gone electronic” workshop happening on 28th to 29th july at MQ.

      Passioned for design, fashion and technology, i just started my own project on wearable interfaces, i’m “brand new” in the exploration of these technics but really motivated to improved my skills and to advance, find, create, prefection, propose…

      I expect having the chance to be part of the “team” that will participate in workshop next july.

      Looking forward for your answer and more information about registration.

      Best regards

      Marcela Amazona

    4. admin on June 12th, 2012

      Please contact the following address to reserve a space in the workshop!
      >> office@mqw.at

    5. Plusea on August 4th, 2012

      […] Project page >> http://www.kobakant.at/?p=222 Making-of page >> http://www.kobakant.at/?p=287 Related workshop >> http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=3444 […]

    6. http://www.kristahoward.com on June 23rd, 2013


    7. […] Embroidery Gone Electric Workshop […]

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