E-Textile - Human-Computer Interaction

Exploration | 2018

#Arduino #conductive yarn #knitting #HCI

After receiving training at Shima Seiki, I became more interested in the correlation between different types of yarns, fabric structures, and how they could be used in HCI as an interface.

Abstract

 

Optical Fiber, hair, yarn, electronic strand, and DNA share one common characteristic: collections of nanoscales of the composite linked together. The fabric developing stage of the garment is from the composition, yarn, fiber, and fabric to garments. The focus of this project was to explore the manufacturing process where yarns were interwoven into fabrics. Specifically, I was intrigued by the knitting property; how different knitting structures create entirely new properties of fabric by using a single yarn. A knitted fabric remembers to retain its original shape more with stretch and without a wrinkle with high tensile strength. When this is applied to an innovative textile woven with conductive yarn, it becomes a flexible and stretchable interface. Along with this thought, I wanted to experiment with the effects of sensory input on the conductive threads when connected with computational data.

Material

 

Knitting machine, yarns, conductive yarns, ArudinoUNO 

 

The weak electrical conductivity that accumulates on the surface of organic polymers can be transferred to obtain an electromagnetic shielding effect by using conductive yarns.

Different conductive yarns can be produced:

  • Mixing different forms of carbons and metal such as wires and fibers

  • Coating conductive substances

  • Using conductive fiber

 

First, I tested out the sample with conductive fiber that is knitted in a different direction and with a different density

  • The conductive thread is intertwined with the wool yarn horizontally in the middle to form a dense structure

  • The conductive thread is intertwined with the wool yarn horizontally in the middle to form a loose structure

  • The conductive thread is intertwined with the wool yarn vertically in the middle to form a dense structure

  • The conductive thread is intertwined with the wool yarn vertically in the middle to form a loose structure

 

Second, I tested out the sample without intertwining with the wool yarn in a different direction to see if the direction and types of yarn interfered with the conductivity.

  • The conductive thread itself is woven horizontally in the middle 

  • The conductive thread itself is woven vertically in the middle

After exploration of the relationship between yarns and knit structure, I aimed to create a wearable sensor interface that measures the intensity of breathing for seniors or the baby movement during pregnancy to monitor and track the behavioral patterns. I believe a wearable interface will allow users to personalize the sensory gadgets with readings of temperature, GPS, humidity, and many more according to their need as well as the design, sizing and fittings of the garments.

What's next

 

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Alice Hong