DIY – Stretchy Conductive Fabric Traces

stretchable-textile-tracese-Textile designer working with electrically conductive traces in fabrics face sometimes the problem of elasticity, or to be more precise – the lack of elasticity of stitched traces which is sometimes a important factor when it comes to ‘electrifying’ clothing.

Nadya Peek, the creator of the wonderfully made ‘Clickable Dress’ Caché developed a method to transform none stretchable conductive fabric into Stretchy Conductive Fabric Traces.

How is it done? A snake like pattern, cut out from a none stretchable fabric, elongate much more than a straight, solid ribbon cut.

Using a laser-cutter to cut snake like shapes allows the design of almost any pattern to blend seamlessly into a e-textile design. The laser also seals off the cutting edge to eliminate frying of the fabric along the edges.

The conductive snake ribbon is then ironed onto a fabric using iron-on adhesive to from the electrical infrastructure of a garment.

The snake like curves allow the material to be torn apart quite a bit without ripping it and breaking the electrical conductivity or changing the resistance as it is the case by electrically conductive Lycra which can be stretched but it changes the resistance causing problems in the electrical performance.

A simple but brilliant way to overcome the stretchy problem many e-textile crafters have experienced. Head over for a detailed overview of the making-off‘ the Caché dress on Instructables for the steps-by-step instructions on how to make stretchy e-textiles.

Only the sky will be the limit for e-textile projects using this stretchy technique.

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