Talking about Do-It-Yourself in Wearable Electronics means talking about the work of Leah Buechley. She is the Master of e-textiles and created over the last few years a exiting range of ideas, designs and DIY instructions for e-textiles.
Leah introduced a construction kit for electronic textiles in spring 2006. A set of stitchable controllers, sensors and actuators that enable novices to build their own electronic textiles. The different elements are created by using her fabric PCB technique: microcontrollers, sensors and other devices that are soldered to fabric PCBs. The finished elements can be stitched together with conductive thread into custom Wearable Electronic clothing or other fashion accessories.
Have a look to the excellent guidelines and explanations Leah is giving on her site to build your first e-textile kit.
This spring, she introduces the e-textile construction kit version 2.0 with the words: “There is no reason for fabric circuits to mimic the look of traditional PCBs. My version 2.0 construction kit explores a new aesthetic for electronics.”
We love those two sentences. The first hit the point head on. Instead of squeezing one element – the electronic – onto fabrics, she is combining the best of both worlds into a new element: pure e-textiles.
The second sentence is based on her high level of creativity: creating the circuit around a micro controller in the shape of a flower which can blend seamless into many designs. Of course, this is just one way of integration. Using Leah’s principle, one can design almost everything one can imagine.
Leah makes it very easy for everyone with her highly detailed and simple instructions to create e-textiles. She points out where to find the materials needed and goes up to explaining the Software code for the sample projects. Equipped with her instructions, making e-fashion becomes as simple as sewing a dress or knitting a sweater.