ElectriCute - Conductive Yarn

Building a muscle-riffic demo for conductive yarn!

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Conductive yarn is a must-have tool in the e-textiles/wearable electronics guru's sewing kit, but it's important to understand how it behaves differently from conductive thread.

In today's episode of "ElectriCute," we're delving bicep-first into the world of conductive yarn. Check it out!

Make sure you stick around for the end of the video where Nick and Dia answer some of your questions from last time. As always, feel free to leave your questions this go-around in the comments section below. Thanks for watching and we'll see you on the next episode of "ElectriCute"!

Interested in learning more about LEDs?

See our LED page for everything you need to know to start using these components in your project.

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Comments 5 comments

  • Here are some resources for folks looking to make sensors out of the yarn --

  • pyrofx / about 9 years ago / 2

    Ya'll are such marvelous dorks. Do you really get hit on in the comments? Hey baby, let's go to the Gun Show!

  • Member #472665 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Hi, I'm trying to make a breathing sensor made of this conductive yarn. I knitted a long band using a mix of this yarn and elastic yarn to wrap around my waste. I am finding the analog input numbers fluctuate a great deal making it unstable. Could it be the kind of stitch I used? (I just used a standard knit stitch, nothing fancy) or could it be a connection issue? Right now I have just been using alligator clips to clip onto the knitted band, they seem really secure though. Or is this just the nature of the current traveling through the yarn? How do I create a sensor that is more stable using this yarn? (I've looked at the Kobakant site, but they don't address if the output is stable, or a good way to attach the ends of your knitted sensor to the circuit).

    • The best results I've seen are a combination of conductive and non-conductive yarn in the stretch sensor. This way the non-conductive yarn acts as an insulator until the stretch happens. It sounds like this is what you've created, perhaps the elastic yarn to conductive yarn ratio needs adjusting?

      Are you using the Arduino's internal pull up resistors? I've run into issues where to get a stable reading I ended up hooking up an external pull up resistor. This was in a project with conductive fabric, not yarn, but it may help in your case as well. For the most secure connection, it may be best to stitch directly to the yarn.

      If you want a more prototyping-friendly connection, try using snaps and conductive fabric (Kobakant shows this in their knit accelerometer example - http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=3099). Hope that helps!

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