The eTextile toolbox just got a big addition in form of Plug and Wear‘s Textile Prefboard, courtesy of my creative friend Riccardo.
Prefboards are used by electronic wizards to quickly put together a circuit during development and for testing. Needless to say – this is one of the most essential parts in their toolbox.
Riccardo picked up this need for having a prototyping possibility for eTextile wizards and used his skills and machinery to knit the first ever textile Prefboard.
The Textile Prefboard has conductive lines in one knit direction. The spacing between the lines is 2.54mm (0.1″) just like on the conventional, stiff Prefboards. The maximum working temperature of the knitted eTextile is 300°C (572°F) for a short period which means it can be used to solder components directly on the conductive lines of the Textile Prefboard.
Most importantly, you can place and fix the components with a needle and yarn. Both options are nicely documented on Plug and Wear’s website, here the method of soldering and here the method of sewing.
Personally I am in favor of the sewing method as it will give more robustness to the textile circuit. Sewing joints are more flexible, they can accommodate the movements and to a certain degree elasticity of textile materials.
Solder points are stiff and once broken, even a tiny hairline crack renders the whole circuit useless.
Now head over to Plug and Wear and spice up your eTextile toolbox with a Textile Prefboard which sells for €10.- ($14.30) for a 15 cm x 15 cm (6″ x 6″) size.