Sewing with conductive thread
One of the things that has been challenging when experimenting with wearables is sewing with conductive thread. Most of the sewing we do here is with standard thread, and all of the conductive threads that we’ve tested behave much differently than standard threads. Sewing with conductive thread on industrial sewing machines is tough because of the inflexibility of conductive threads compared to traditional threads.
We’ve noticed that a good amount of sewing with conductive thread that is done online is done by hand vs a sewing machine. The examples that have used a sewing machine have involved the use of a home sewing machine. Since industrial machines sew 10-20 times faster and have different hooking mechanisms and needles, sewing with conductive thread is much more difficult.
We will be using some conductive threads in our experiments but will experiment with other methods of moving electricity to where we need it on the garments. We believe that while conductive threads are going to be an important part of future wearable technology, that conductive fabrics and inks are going to become the standard method used for the transfer of both electricity and eventually data.
There are many conductive threads and conductive yarns available, each having unique properties and usage. There isn’t one right product for every project, so any new wearable project will require experimentation and testing.