Example Projects

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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

    Granny Square MIDI

    When conductive yarn is knit/crochet into small pieces, it shows pressure sensitive property. I made granny squares, which middle gray part is made with conductive yarn thus pressure sensitive. Nine of the granny squares are assembled together like the typical granny blankets, which is actually a pressure sensitive button array.
    The assembled granny squares are connected to Arduino programed to interface with MIDI signal. Now the granny squares are MIDI interface.

    The sound is not great.. (the window was open and you hear a lot of outside sound) but you can get an idea of how it works. For this test, I just connected with simple max patch to demonstrate the MIDI inputs, but it can be connected with more complicated patch or MIDI instrument directly just like other MIDI interfaces.

    To make MIDI interface with Arduino, I followed this tutorial.

    To interface with computer, I used USB MIDI converter. You can buy this in local electronics shops.
    Here is the Arduino sketch I used


    First, make a lot of conductive Granny Squares. In this example I made nine of them.

    Connect Granny Squares with normal yarn. I used one row of single crochet and next round with slip stitch.

    I used thick felt for the backing layer. It can be also normal fabric. Before sewing the backing layer to the blanket, make sure to pull all the conductive yarn connection to front side. Mark the conductive traces’ placement with fabric markers. Before cutting the conductive fabrics in stripes to make traces, I have fused the fusible interfacing on the back of the fabric. After placing the conductive traces, attache them to the backing felt by ironing on them.

    This is how the finished circuit looks like. Make sure to cover the over wrapping traces with normal fabric.

    Now connect to the Arduino. Here, for the quick test, I used crocodile clip, but it can be improved to knitted stretchy cable or fabric ribbon cable.

    3 Comments so far

    1. Lukas on October 1st, 2011

      make it a “lil bit” bigger and you got a “twister”-game using sounds instead of colors, if you’re lookin for a purpose.

    2. Synth Buy on February 10th, 2012

      Yes! Finally something about synthesizer.

    3. Jesse on April 19th, 2012

      where do you get conductive yarn?

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