Example Projects

Circuits and Code Wireless

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Conductive Materials
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Thinking Out Loud
  • Etching Flex Circuits
  • Lasercut Fabric Circuits and Traces
  • Fabric Ribbon Cable
  • Printed Copper Traces
  • Isolating Traces
  • Knit Breadboard Circuit
  • knitted stretchy cable
  • Laser- and Vinylcut Solder Masks
  • Machine-Sewing Solderable Traces
  • Machine-sewn Neopixel Strip
  • Non-Stretchy Traces
  • Plated Fabric Traces
  • Plotted Flex PCB
  • Screen-printed Copper Paint on Fabric
  • Circuit Sewing Tips
  • Stretch Conductors
  • stretchy cable
  • Stretchy Traces
  • Vinylcut Copper & Fabric PCB
  • Washability Tests
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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

    Non-Stretchy Traces

    Non-stretchy traces make very stable connections on a non-stretch fabric but make less or no sense when working with stretchy fabrics.

    Non-stretchy conductive fabric traces

    Most of our examples using non-stretchy fabric traces are for sewable component breakout boards.

    also see: Circuits >> Fabric PCB

    Non-stretchy conductive thread traces

    Running stitches of conductive thread are a great way to make fabric cables. As long as the threads don’t fray they can be sewn very close to each other. the sewing machine is ideal for this, but it can also be done by hand. We tend to use a 2mm spacing, which aligns up with the perfboard perforations, see Permanent Hard/Soft connections.

    Connecting to perfboard

    Sensitive Fingertips example

    Connecting to perfboard on one side and poppers on the other.

    Perfect Human example

    This method was used in the Puppeteer costume for the Perfect Human performance. Although the suit itself was super stretchy, connections from the sensors to the Multiplexers, Lilypad, XBee and power were made via a non-stretch collar, that had conductive thread traces sewn down it lengthwise. The conductive threads were sewn as bobbin (bottom) thread and we used different colours on the top to differentiate between inputs, but mainly for looks. The conductive side of the stitch was on the back (inside) of the collar and was isolated by fusing a layer of fabric on top of it, see Isolating Non-stretch traces.

    Also, inside the collar of the Perfect Human the circuitry was sewn on non-stretch conductive fabric with conductive thread. The resistance of the thread turned out to be too high and it had to be changed to conductive fabric. We chose stretch conductive fabric because of the softness of it vs. non-stretch conductive fabrics.

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