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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

    Amplified Pillow Speaker

    An embroidered fabric speaker made into a pillow. Inside the pillow an amplification module hacked from a commercial device lets you easily connect your mp3 player to play back your favorite music. While the speaker might not be as loud as commercial speakers, you can very comfortably lay your head down on it to rest.

    >> Related Instructable


    Step-by-Step Instructions


    – Rechargeable amplified speaker module, which can be hacked from commercial speakers such as these:
    >> http://www.amazon.de/August-MS310W-Mini-Lautsprecher-Tragbare-integriertem/dp/B003DNLUFA/ref=pd_sim_sbs_ce_4
    >> http://www.amazon.de/RAIKKO-Speaker-Lautsprecher-schwarz-Klinkenstecker/dp/B003UH1CZ2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354308781&sr=8-1
    >> http://www.mitone.eu/products/travel-speakers/mitsp40.htm
    – Highly conductive thread
    – Magnet(s)
    >> http://www.modulor.de/shop/oxid.php/sid/fe00d0ac13a70ef9d2e680bf94d0a364/cl/details/cnid/-/anid/203523
    >> http://www.magnet-magnete.eu/
    >> http://www.kjmagnetics.com/categories.asp
    – Regular fabric
    – Regular thread
    – Fusible interfacing
    – Stuffing


    – Screw drivers and cutter knives (for taking apart speaker)
    – Sewing needles
    – Scissors
    – Iron and board
    – Soldering iron
    (- Sewing machine)

    Understand how a speaker works

    >> http://www.instructables.com/id/Embroidered-Fabric-Speaker/
    A speaker makes sound because an electromagnet (the embroidered coil) is mounted to a membrane (the fabric) with a permanent magnet close by. When an audio signal is connected to either end of the electromagnet (coil) a fluctuating magnetic field forms around the coil, repelling and attracting the membrane from the permanent magnet. These vibrations happen so fast that we can barely see them, but the membrane moves the air around it, translating electrical frequencies into audible waves that we can hear.
    Take a good look at the diagram and stencil on the other side of this sheet so that you understand what variables will influence the efficiency (volume) of your speaker coil before designing your own.

    Hack open a commercial speaker amplification module

    Unscrew and remove circuit board. Cut wires leading to speaker and remember where the connection points were on the circuit board.

    Trace stencils to fabric and cut out

    Reinforce the fabric with fusible interfacing

    Cut out a circle of fabric with fusible interfacing on one side. Fuse this to the back side of the front pillow square where you will embroider the speaker coil on.

    Sew your the speaker coil

    First stitch the conductive thread to the back of the fabric, and leave 20cm. Then switch to the front side and work the conductive thread into a coil by “couching” it to the fabric using regular thread.

    Make the coils tight (but never touching) in the center, where the permanent magnet field will be strongest. And then let the coils expand as you reach the end, as the permanent magnet’s magnetic field will not have much (if any) affect at this distance.

    Front and back:

    Closeup of back:

    Sew magnets in place

    I sewed 4 small magnets next to each other, but you could also just get one bigger magnet. The bigger the magnet, the louder the speaker.

    Sew pouch to hold amplifier module

    String beads on the conductive thread to isolate them from one another

    Solder ends of conductive thread to circuit baord

    Layer the pieces of pillow fabric together and sew together

    Turn the pillow inside out and stuff it

    Sew pouch into pillow by hand

    Insert module into pouch and take out to access


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