E Textiles describes a contemporary and exciting new dimension for textile design. Using miniature components and conductive thread, simple LED circuits can be built into any type of textile product - including garments. For the ultimate in bling for dance or evening wear or to take high-visibility to another level, E-Textiles has a great deal to offer. The components we offer here have been developed to make the technique both accessible and reliable and all have a proven track record for success from KS2 to KS5.
How it works?
All the components are designed for easy but discrete stitching to the product and feature a pair of through-hole plated connection terminals. Simply over-sew around each terminal with conductive thread and a reliable circuit can be created. The different components are simply joined together using conductive thread and a small running stitch. No soldering is needed. The conductive thread forms an electrical circuit so the layout must be carefully designed to prevent stitches crossing or touching. Needless to say, E Textiles must not be washed! Designing with E Textiles Decide on what type, colour and how many LEDs you wish to use and work out their position on the product. They may sit on the surface or could be on a separate layer beneath – it is often easier to work in layers. Decide on what type of switch is required – this could be another component or simply metal press studs or a metal zip. Soft switches can be made from conductive fabric and foam and stitched anywhere in the circuit. Finally, decide where the batteries will best be hidden. A single coin cell will power up to 5 LEDs depending on the type and colours chosen. If necessary, an additional power supply board (or boards) can be added. Simply fix and connect them using a parallel connection and conductive thread.
Designing with E-Textiles?
Decide on what type, colour and how many LEDs you wish to use and work out their position on the product. They may sit on the surface or could be on a separate layer beneath – it is often easier to work in layers. Decide on what type of switch is required – this could be another component or simply metal press studs or a metal zip. Soft switches can be made from conductive fabric and foam and stitched anywhere in the circuit. Finally, decide where the batteries will best be hidden. A single coin cell will power up to 5 LEDs depending on the type and colours chosen. If necessary, an additional power supply board (or boards) can be added. Simply fix and connect them using a parallel connection and conductive thread.
This Sochi Container was made using S80 non-woven fabric and was printed using the Ricoh SG3110DN sublimation printer. This was then cut out on the CAMM 1 GX-24 knife cutter. The design for the net and all the patterns were created in TechSoft’s 2D Design V2. The embroidery on the surface and side stitching was done using a Brother Innov-is 35 sewing machine. Embroidered 3D sections were created using soluble fabric and organza, stitched on the Brother Innov-is V3 embroidery machine – the initial design was created in PE Design Next software. The electronics used were sewable LEDs, 3V power supply and a light sensor, stitched together with conductive thread.
Don’t Do Electronics?
You soon will with E Textiles. All circuits are made using parallel connections for the LEDs with switches connected in series. Each component has positive (+) and negative (–) signs clearly marked and all you do is connect between these. Students will find it helpful to prepare a simple circuit diagram as part of their design work to guide them when building their E Textile product.
This design was created using TechSoft’s 2D Design V2 and sent to a CAMM 1 GX-24 to be cut from textile vinyl. Sewable LEDs were added to the eyes and stitched to the power supply board in the front pocket using a conductive thread. Crystals were glued onto vinyl to reflect light from the LEDs. Flowers were stitched on the organza with soluble fabric stabiliser and were cut out after stitching.
E Textiles Starter KitContains sewable coin cell holder, 2m thread and colour changing LED, 3 sewable coin cell holders, small conductive thread bobbin (6m), 10 blue sewable LEDs, 10 white sewable LEDs, sewable coin cell holder with built-in power switch, sewable push switch, sewable slide switch, sewable tilt, switch & strip of 5 CR2032 coin cells.
|TXEF-PK1||E Textiles Starter Pack||34.80|
Flashing LED Kits
|TXEF-MOD1||E Textiles Module - Flasher Controller & LEDs||7.68|
|TXEF-MOD2||E Textiles Module - Light Sensor||5.64|
Power BoardsThe power supply boards featuring CR2032 coin cells will keep more LEDs brighter for longer so are the most popular choice for most students.
BatteriesA single CR1220 coin cell is about the size and weight of a 1p coin and will keep a single LED bright for about two hours. The CR2032 coin cell is about the size and weight of a 5p coin and will keep a single LED bright for about 10 hours.
|TXEF-BAT1-5||Pack of 5 CR2032 Coin Cell Batteries||2.04|
|TXEF-BAT2-5||Pack of 5 CR1220 Coin Cell Batteries||2.04|
SwitchesPush switches only operate while you press them so might best be hidden in a pocket. A slide switch stays on so could be behind a cuff or lapel. A tilt switch operates when moved, if stitched into a sleeve then it could make the LEDs come on when you raise your arm. Magnetic switches are in two parts, if they were stitched into either side of a pocket then the LEDs could be controlled by placing a hand in your pocket.
|TXEF-SW1||Sewable Push Switch (18 x 8.5 x 6mm)||1.56|
|TXEF-SW2||Sewable Slide Switch (18 x 8.5 x 4mm)||1.56|
|TXEF-SW3||Sewable Tilt Switch (26 x 6.5 x 7mm)||2.40|
|TXEF-SW4||Magnetic Switch Complete with Magnet||4.80|
Conductive ThreadNo soldering is needed! Connections are made using conductive thread. Several loops of this are firmly stitched around the connection terminal before being taken to the next terminal with a loose running stitch.
|TXEF-CT-2||2m Conductive Thread (on Card)||2.76|
|TXEF-CT-6||6m Conductive Thread (on Card)||4.08|
|TXEF-CT-45||45m Conductive Thread (on Bobbin)||12.72|
|TXEF-CT-250||250m Conductive Thread (on Bobbin)||56.40|
Conductive MaterialConductive fabric gives even more opportunities for ingenuity. Small patches can be sewn where they can be deliberately (or randomly) touched together thus making a soft switch.
|TXEF-CF-R1||Conductive Fabric (Ripstop, 305 x 330mm)||14.40|
|TXEF-CF-S1||Conductive Fabric (Stretch, 305 x 330mm)||40.80|
LED BoardsThere are two sorts of LEDs for use in textiles – the sew on ones that come on their own board and the regular LEDs for traditional electronic work.
Pack of 10 Sewable LED Boards 6mm thick.
Available in blue, white, green and lilac
Pack of 10 Sewable LED Boards 4mm thick.
Available in red
Traditional LEDsTo sew these traditional LEDs onto textiles, simply bend the legs so that they are at right angles to the bulb and curl them to form loops, through which conductive thread can be oversewn to make the circuit.
Standard 3mm LEDs (25 deg)
Standard 5mm LEDs (25 deg)
Colour Changing LEDs
|TX-LED5CC-10||Pk of 10 Colour Changing 5mm LED (diffused, VF 2.7-5, 3000mcd@25mA )||8.40|
|TX-LED10CC-10||Pk of 10 Colour Changing 5mm LED (diffused, VF 2.7-5, 3000mcd@25mA )||9.36|