E-Textile Switch Sensor

Switch sensor is a type of digital sensors that only produce one of the two states: “on” and “off”. The principal is simple: Is the circuit closed? Or can the current go through? If "yes", the switch is "on", otherwise, it's "off".

With this principle, e-textile can create a variety of sensors that sense different actions or gestures, for example, pressing, sliding, stroking and position, etc.

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This tutorial guides you to create a simple e-textile switch sensor that can be switched on by pressing. Click here to see more examples following the same principle.

Watch the tutorial

------------content of this video-----------

00:00​ - intro

00:50​ - prepare materials

01:58​ - making with template

03:27​ - testing

Read the tutorial

Materials

  • Copper coated fabric (or any other conductive material)

  • Iron-on adhesive

  • Felt

  • Non-conductive fabric

  • Non-conductive thread

If using template, find out the elements​ in below picture

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Tools

  • Copper coated fabric (or any other conductive material)

  • Iron-on adhesive

  • Felt

  • Non-conductive fabric

  • Non-conductive thread

Making steps 

Skip to step 4. if using the template.

1. Iron the adhesive to the back of the copper fabric

2. Cut the copper fabric into two squares each with an extended leg, and cut two pieces of the non-conductive fabric to be the substrates 

3. Cut a square of felt that is slightly larger than the square of the conductive fabric, then cut some holes on the felt.

The felt is to keep a space between the conductive layers. When the sensor is pressed, the holes allow one layer to make contact with another layer.

4. Iron to fuse the copper fabric on the non-conductive fabric

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5. Sandwich the felt in between the copper fabric.

The spacing layer has to be larger than the conductive layer to avoid short circuit

6. Secure the circuit by sewing the edge of the non-conductive fabric.

Be careful of sewing the layers, don’t let the top and bottom layer directly contact themselves, otherwise your switch is always on

7. Your switch is done!

7. To test the sensor, set the multimeter to continuity test mode, you should hear buzzing when you press the switch.

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More examples following this principle

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