No sew conductive thread project
Not every wearable project has to include sewing. With the right materials you can easily create a no sew conductive thread project without ever having to pick up a needle or sit behind a sewing machine. We sew every day but we know that not everyone is comfortable behind a needle. There are several ways to move electricity across a garment to a component or a wearable platform without having to sew conductive thread through the garment.
Today I’m going to focus on a method that we’ve used in an experiment on a T-shirt to light up LED’s.
As a screen printing and embroidery company we regularly use a CAD cut heat apply vinyl designed to adhere permanently to garments. The typical use of this material is to CAD cut sports player names or numbers and adhere them to their uniforms. This material is available in multiple widths and colors. In this experiment we’ve used this material to hide conductive thread.
The methodology we used is to lay the thread down on the surface area of the shirt, creating a path to where you want the power or signal to go and then heat seal it in place. Think of it like taping the wires down, but permanently and in a way that you can’t readily see them. Using this method it’s easy to create a no sew conductive thread project in just a few hours.
In the included video you will see that we’ve used a white vinyl material on the front of the shirt and inside, for the purposes of showing you the methodology, we’ve used orange. In a workable product, we would do our best to match the color of the vinyl to the color of the garment.
As you will see from the finished product, we have created a retail ready piece, without putting a single needle in the garment. Of course for the purposes of the experiment, the inside of the garment is very “Frankenstein” but in a production piece, the design would be simplified and clean. As with most of our experiments, we are showing proof of concept vs. a finished production quality piece. Any proof of concept can be simplified and cleaned up for a retail ready garment.