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.
Â 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: â€œThere 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.â€
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 Leahâ€™s principle, one can design almost everything one can imagine.
Â 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.