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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

    SMA Smocking Swatch Example

    Please also see SMA smocking post >>

    Smocking is an old textile technique that gathers fabric in certain pattern to create 3D decorative pattern on textiles. There are many tutorials and patterns online, but I had a nice reference book called The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff.

    From many smocking patterns, I chose the diagonal pattern to try with SMA, same as the SMA smocking post.

    For the swatch, I am making a small sample, so there will be only 4 gathering point. The points are 3cm a part, which makes the diagonal length of about 4cm. The SMA are prepared into 4cm long pieces. all of them are trained into spiral coil shape.
    preparing SMA edges >>
    training SMA into shapes >>

    For this example, the connections are made with conductive thread. Alternatively you can connect them with wires or other conductors. This circuit will draw a lot of current (1A) so, make sure the connection materials are very conductive (low resistance). I used Karl Grim copper thread.

    Fix the edge of the SMA onto the marked point of the fabric. This will be also an electrical connection to the conductive thread, so make sure you make a tight and firm stitches. Knot the end and cut the thread.

    Now start from the other end of the SMA. Fix this end onto the other marked position on the fabric. This two edges of the SMA will be the point which you gather in the normal smocking. Continue stitching to the next marking point an fix the second SMA. Knot and cut the thread.

    Continue the above process to the 4th SMA. Stitch the last connection point all the way to the edge of the fabric so we can connect the crocodile clip.

    In this example, the connection threads are stitched onto the base fabric, but you can also leave them floating on the back side of the fabric. The conductive threads are not isolated, so make sure they do not touch each other if you leave them lose.

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