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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


    This is a 3 days hands-on workshop held on January 26-28 2022 at the Interface Culture, Art University Linz Austria as a part of a course Fashionable Technology.

    10:00 – 11:00 meet the materials
    11:00 – 13:00 building textile sensors (digital/analog)
    13:00 – 14:00 lunch break
    14:00 – 15:00 Arduino intro (students who are not Arduino beginners can skip)
    15:00 – 16:00 connecting sensors with Arduino (serial communication, plotter)
    16:00 – 17:00 installing PD, reading Serial communication with PD, simple synthesizers
    17:00 – 18:00 Embroidered capacitive sensor, Arduino capsense library

    10:00 – 10:30 Gloves as an Interface introduction
    10:30 – 13:00 building gloves
    13:00 – 14:00 lunch break
    13:00 – 14:00 Reading gloves’ sensor with Arduino/ serial plotter, then into PD
    14:00 – 15:00 synthesizing with PD + gloves
    15:00 – 17:00 What is machine learning? (short lecture) ml.lib introduction
    17:00 – 18:00 Group discussions, AI, machine learning: Is this intelligence?

    10:00 – 11:00 Separate into small groups >> idea generation
    11:00 – 13:00 prototype work
    13:00 – 14:00 lunch break
    14:00 – 17:00 prototype work
    17:00 – 18:00 play/ feedback


    Meet the Materials

    Highly conductive textile materials
    Copper Ripstop Fabric Shieldex Kassel
    Company: Statex
    Characteristics: Corrosion proof copper-silver plated polyamide ripstop fabric, < 0.03 Ohms/cm2 surface resistivity.

    Shieldex Technik-tex
    Company: Statex
    Characteristics: Silver plated knitted fabric, 78% Polyamide + 22% Elastomer plated with 99% pure silver, < 2 Ohms/cm2 surface resistivity (front/visible side). stretchy in one direction

    High Flex 3981 7X1 Silver 14/000
    company: Karl Grimm
    Characteristic: Very conductive, Solder-able

    Elitex Fadenmaterial Art Nr. 235/34 PA/Ag
    company: Imbut GmbH
    Characteristic: silver conductive thread (100% polyamid beschichtet mit silber

    Materials: Resistive (not so conductive) textile materials

    Eeonyx stretch woven carbon resistive
    Company: Eeonyx
    Characteristics: Resistive material (2k), knit/ jersey, Stretch in both direction. Can be used to make pressure or stretch sensor

    Bekinox 50/2 conductive yarn
    Company: Bekeart
    Characteristics: Nm50/2 conductive yarn, 80% polyester 20% stainless steel, light grey

    conductive wool
    Company: Bekaert
    Characteristic: Wool fiber mixed with stainless steel fiber, Suitable for felting


    We can not see the electrons flowing. So we can not tell by looking if there is an electrical connection, or how much electrical resistance between one end to the other end of the circuit or a material.
    To measure this, we use a tool called multimeter. This will be your friend throughout the workshop. Here is how to use it.

    Check connection

    turn the dial to arrow/sound sign. Place the probe to the to end of the part where you want to check the electrical connection. If there are connection, it will beep.

    Check Resistance

    Turn the dial to ohm mark part. there are few numbers on the ohm part, start from the smallest, or if you know roughly how much it should be, start with closest one. If it is on the diral 200 ohm, it means it will measure the resistance maximum 200ohm. If the resistance is bigger than 200ohm, it shows 1. like in the picture. In this case, turn the dial to bigger maximum range (for example 2000, or 20k (20,000)) to see if you start to see a number.

    Here is an example on how to read the measured resistance. The dial is set to 20M ohm (20,000,000 ohm), and you see 2.19 in the display. Where the period is shows the scale (if it is Mega or Kilo or without any scale). Since you are on Mega scale, this is 2.19 Mega Ohm (2,190,000 ohm). This is a bit confusing as if you are on 200k ohm dial and see 3.8, it is still 3.8 Kilo ohm (3,800 ohm). The number on your dial is not a multiplier. It just shows which scale you are in, and what is the maximum reading range.

    Tips on working with e-Textile materials

    Building Textile Sensors: Digital

    We will build a digital sensor/ switches. Digital sensors have 2 states, 1(ON) and 0(OFF) while analog sensors have range of states like “half on” between on and off. The idea is simple. You have two conductors (conductive thread, conductive fabric.. or any material that conduct electricity) that has state of touching each other, or not touching each other.

    Here is an example of finger switch. Conductors on each fingers are not electrically connected when your fingers are not touching each other, and when you close your fingers they contact and let the electricity go through.

    Building Textile Sensors: Analog

    Now we try analog sensor. Analog sensors shows range of inputs, like faders or volume knobs on your audio devices. It has range of states. The introduced textile sensors change its electrical resistance. Instead of ON (no resistance) or OFF (infinitely big resistance) it has the range in between the two.

    detailed tutorial here>>

    example with knitting mills>>

    Pure Data >> http://puredata.info/downloads

    Serial communication example for Pure Data >> https://cloud.servus.at/s/b6frY5n5o2DMEsc

    Pure Data examples >> https://cloud.servus.at/s/6FfN3sM8XMGnR6k

    How to make sensor glove >> https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=9331

    Datagloves Overview >> https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=7114

    E-Textile Datagloves Overview >> https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=6730

    int val1;
    int val2;
    int val3;
    int val4;
    void setup() {
      // put your setup code here, to run once:
    void loop() {
      // read analog pins. check which pins you connected your sensors!
      val1 = analogRead(A1);
      val2 = analogRead(A2);
      val3 = analogRead(A3);
      val4 = analogRead(A4);
      // serial communication
      Serial.print(" ");
      Serial.print(" ");
      Serial.print(" ");
      Serial.print(" ");
      // auto range fixing lines. comment out when you communicate with PD
      Serial.print(" ");
      // end of package
      delay (10);

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