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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
    Example Projects

    Grias Di Hut

    This example titled “Greeting Hat” shows how a record and playback module intended for greetings cards is made sewable and the various components are integrated into a red hat. When the round purple record button is pressed the module records up to 10 seconds of audio through the microphone. And when the hat is tiled forward so that the beaded tilt switch is closed, this recorded sample is played back out through the speaker.

    This hat was made as an example for the German radio show Netzbasteln by Moritz Metz on DRadio Wissen.

    The following three photos and video are of the first version of the hat design made during the radio show. Later photos are of the re-made version to better show the process of making.


    >> Record and playback module from Conrad
    >> Karl grimm copper conductive (and solderable) thread
    >> Conductive fabric from LessEMF
    >> Neoprene from Sedochemicals
    >> Foam as spacer material in button
    >> Heavy metal bead from local craft shop
    >> Some plastic or glass beads
    >> Two metal snaps
    >> Extra multistanded flexible wire
    >> Fusible interfacing for ironing-on the conductive fabric


    1) Make the record and playback module “sewable”

    De-solder all the wires and re-solder and add new wires to all the contacts for the following elements:
    – Record button
    – Playback trigger
    – Speaker
    – Microphone

    At the end of each wire twist a length of bare wire to make a loop. You can solder the loop so that it does not come undone.

    2) Attach module to inside of hat

    With some regular thread stitch the module into place inside the hat.

    3) Cut and fuse conductive fabric

    Fuse some fusible interfacing to the back of a piece of conductive fabric. Cut out two circles (“record”) and one triangle (“play”) – or design your own shapes. Peel off the paper backing from the fusible and fuse one side of the record button and the play shape to the hat.

    4) Sew connections

    The plan is to sew all the electrical connections from the circuitboard to the individual parts using conductive thread. For each connection start sewing from the loop at the end of a wire and take the thread (without touching any of the other threads!) to the contact on the part it needs to connect to. Tie a knot at the very end of the thread you are sewing with, and make sure you stitch a few times to the loop to insure a good electrical contact. Tidy and neat sewing will give better results.

    5) Beaded Tilt Sensor

    Sew one of the playback trigger wires to the conductive “play” triangle that is fused to the hat. Sew the other contact to the metal bead that should be allowed to dangle close to the conductive fabric, and only touch it when hat is tilted forward.
    more detailed description >> http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=201

    6) Neoprene Push Button

    One piece of conductive fabric should already be fused to hat in previous step, fuse the other piece to the neoprene circle. Cut a circle of foam with a hole in the middle. The hole should be big enough for the conductive fabric to touch through, when the button is pressed.
    more detailed description >> http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=48

    7) Snaps for speaker connection

    Solder the male sides of two metal snaps to the contacts on your speaker. Then sew the female snaps to the ends of the conductive thread connections on the hat.

    8) Soldering microphone connection

    Sew the ends of the threads for the microphone contacts close together and end by sewing a few times to create a “patch” of conductive thread. Apply solder to the patch and then hold the microphone to the patch to make the solder connection.

    Finished hat

    Beaded tilt sensor:

    Neoprene pushbutton:

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