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5. E-textiles

This week we learned about etextiles with a lecture from Liza Stark and tutorials on how to build sensors and how to use Arduino with Emma Pareschi.

Our assignement is to:

  • Build at least one digital and one analogue soft sensors, using different materials and techniques.
  • Document the sensor project as well as the readings got using the AnalogRead of Arduino
  • Integrate the two soft sensors into one or two textile swatches using hard soft connections
  • Document the circuit and it’s schematic
  • Document your swatches
  • Upload a small video of the swatches functioning
  • EXTRA POINT Integrate the swatch into a project


One of my favorite books is "The Sustainable Fashion Handbook" by Sandy Black. I read it cover to cover. Concerning etextiles, the book made me discover the works of Hussein Chalayan, Cute Circuit and of [Joanna Berzowska] ( who is an assistant professor at the University of Concordia developing innovative methods and applications in electronic textiles and responsive garments.

Making sensor

Digital sensor

I made a digital sensor using: - sponge - conductive fabric NASAFES - Copper Taffeta

Analog sensor

I built an analog sensor using: - conductive wool - Copper Taffeta I checked to see if my piece were conductive using the multimeter. But this piece unfortunately does not function as an analog sensor, the conductive wool is too conductive. I'll have to redo the sample with another material such as velostat.

Documenting the circuit and it’s schematic

Next, I tried to build the following circuit: Here, I had to make sure to follow Ohm's law, using an LED of 20mA. and a resistance of 170 Ohms.

Documenting my sketches

On Arduino I used the swatch that we developped during the tutorial.
And here is the final result!

int pin_led = 3; 

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
pinMode(3, OUTPUT); //define the pin 3 as output

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

  // turn on the light (5V)
  digitalWrite(3, HIGH);
  //wait 1 sec
  //turn off the light (OV/gnd)
  digitalWrite(pin_led, LOW);
  //wait 1 sec


Last update: 2022-05-05