Sketch&Stitch: Interactive Embroidery for E-Textiles
An end-to-end fabrication system to transform a sketch on fabric into an interactive circuit using conductive embroidery.
DescriptionE-Textiles are fabrics that integrate electronic circuits and components. Makers use them to create interactive clothing, furniture, and toys. However, this requires significant manual labor and skills, and using technology-centric design tools. We introduce Sketch&Stitch, an interactive embroidery system to create e-textiles using a traditional crafting approach: Users draw their art and circuit directly on fabric using colored pens. The system takes a picture of the sketch, converts it to embroidery patterns, and sends them to an embroidery machine. Alternating between sketching and stitching, users build and test their design incrementally. Sketch&Stitch features Circuitry Stickers representing circuit boards, components, and custom stitch patterns for wire crossings to insulate, and various textile touch sensors such as pushbuttons, sliders, and 2D touchpads. Circuitry Stickers serve as placeholders during design. Using computer vision, they are recognized and replaced later in the appropriate embroidery phases. We close with technical considerations and application examples.
|Paper (CHI 18)|
|Smart Textiles research|
|Project folder [Internal Access}|
|Funding project: 3DCC|
|Contact: Nur Hamdan|
Sketch and Stitch A Smart Textile
Stitch your own smart textile using any commercial embroidery machine. Find how in the paper.
Materials and tools
- A piece of fabric and embroidery threads
- Madeira conductive embroidery yarn
- Bernina 880 computerized embroidery machine, or any other machine
- To use the Sketch&Stitch system, download our tool(s)
- Sketch&Stitch OS-iOS Suit: An OS app for filtering an image (e.g., a sketch) based on color, and communicating with embroidery machine software to convert each colored file into a custom embroidery pattern that can be stitched using any commercial embroidery machine. An iOS app to capture the image and send it directly to the OS app.
- Tool| Video | Poster
- Student Assistant: Kirill Krasnoshchokov
- Smart Textile Router: A web-based tool based on Eagle for routing wires in arbitrarily shaped PCBs. Originally developed to allow routing conductive yarn traces in artistic smart textile interfaces.
- Tool| Video
- Student Assistant: Mike Mslupczynski
- Smart Glove Maker: A web-based tool for creating smart gloves using conductive embroidery and for programming them by demonstration, i.e., without writing any code.
- Tool| Video | Poster
- Student Assistant: David Olivares
- David Garcia Olivares. The Smart-Glove Maker: An Embroidery-Based Pipeline for Fabricating Smart-Gloves. Master's Thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, November 2018.
- Philip Kindermann. Embroidered touchpad sensors. Master's Thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, April 2018.
- Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Sketch&Stitch: Interactive Embroidery for E-Textiles. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '18, pages 82:1–82:13, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2018.