Ongoing experimentations into methods of constructing woven textiles with sensing and actuating capabilities. Future plans include developing capacitive touch sensors, experimenting with knit structures, and tailoring the textiles towards more of an apparel context.
All structures woven with a 5/2 cotton warp.
Waffle weave with stainless steel / polyester blend weft. The thickness of the conductive weft produces deep waffles, resulting in a wide range of values in response to pressure.
Waffle weave with stainless steel weft. The weft is thinner than that of the above sample, creating shallower waffles and thereby resulting in a smaller range of values.
Waffle Weave variation, where I tacked down the floats to make them shorter and thereby make the textile more structurally sound for uses in apparel and furniture. By shortening the floats, the waffle effect is less pronounced; however, there is still enough contact between the conductive weft picks to generate a change in resistance in response to pressure.
Woven Stretch Sensors
Alternating warp- and weft-faced checkerboard twill structure woven with elastic silk and stainless steel weft.
Honeycomb structure woven with elastic thread and stainless steel / polyester blend weft.
This sample is woven with alternating warp- and weft-faced twill stripes, creating a natural wave in the textile that allows for a minimal amount of stretch. However, since the weft yarn is not stretchy, the stretching distance is small, and the textile does not always return to the same state after deformation. Using an elastic weft would greatly improve the textile's stretching distance and allow it to return to a more consistent state, allowing for greater stretch-sensing capabilities.
Plain weave with stainless steel weft pile.
Plain weave with stainless steel and mohair weft pile. The addition of the mohair makes the textile softer and hides the stainless steel, thereby making it more appealing. I was also wondering if using mohair as a barrier between groups of 2 stainless steel rows would produce more consistent readings, as each row could only interact with the one adjacent to it; however, the inconsistencies in the fuzz of the mohair produced the opposite effect.
Specific Point Sensors
Double weave containing Velostat within a woven pocket, with conductive thread on either side of it. The textile only recognizes touch/pressure in the spot where the pocket is.
Double weave button, with tulle placed within a woven pocket and conductive thread on either side of it. The conductive threads come in contact with each other through the tulle when the button is pressed, completing the circuit.
I shaped Nitinol wire (Nickel Titanium, a Shape Memory Alloy) into a zig-zag pattern, then wove it into this sample along with 8/2 bamboo. The alligator clips connect the Nitinol to a battery, allowing current to run through the wires and create heat that activates the Nitinol.