Conductive fabric is a fabulous product for eTextile design, but it is not always aesthetically pleasing.
This is a method of creating your own conductive fabric from fusible fibers that will compliment your design project.
I was sent some thread samples that were unable to be used in a sewing machine or by hand sewing. The samples also has a resistance that was to high to be useful for eTextiles. So, I made a new eTextile fabric that solves a design problem I was having while using up supplies in my studio.
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Step 1: Parts
conductive fibers - I used Shieldex 235/34 that came with my thread samples.
Step 2: Layer #1
Place a piece of paper on surface you can iron on.
Spread a thin layer of Angelina Fibers on the paper.
'Shred' your conductive thread into fibers - I used 10 strands 15" long.
Place conductive fibers on top of the Angelina Fibers.
Place another layer of Angelina Fibers on top of the conductive fibers.
Step 3: Repeat
Repeat layers until you have the fabric and conductivity that you require for your project.
For this example I used four layers of conductive fiber and five layers of Angelina Fiber.
Each layer is 10 15" strands.
Step 4: Fuse the Fabric
Place another piece of paper on top of your fibers.
With a warm iron fuse the fibers together.
Keep the iron moving.
Flip the paper and iron from the other side.
Once cooled, peel the paper from the fibers.
Step 5: Testing, Testing 1,2,3
Test the fabric with a multimeter.
For my examples:
Conductive stainless steel thread on its own: 4 ohms.
The same stainless steel thread preserved as single strands in the Angelina Fibers: 5 ohms.
Fiberous conductive thread taught and loose: 145 ohms and 250 ohms respectively.
Fiberous conductive thread fused with Angelina Fibers: 5 ohms.
Step 6: Creating the look and resistance you desire
It is possible to vary the amount of non-conductive fibers with conductive fibers resulting in one side of the fabric being conductive and the other non-conductive.