bedding Light and Sound in Textiles for Novel Effects in Interior Design

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Slide 1:University of Mauritius Faculty of Engineering Department of Textile Technology Postgraduate Research Degree (MPhil/PhD) Embedding Light and Sound in Textiles for Novel Effects in Interior Design    Proposed by  G.K.Bahadur February 2010

Slide 2:Introduction

Textile materials such as woven, non-woven and knitted fabrics are an excellent medium that can be used to integrate and accommodate unobtrusive electronic devices. For the first part of the research, much emphasis was placed on the following: Finding different ways of embedding electronic wires and microelectronics into textile fabrics in a discreet manner. Applying available conductivity threads and printing pastes on fabrics without compromising its soft look and feel. Creating conductive printing paste that can be used on fabric. Developing innovative products such as the soft switch, E-Label and the E-print for commercialised garments. Carry out fabric tests such as burn, colourfastness and washing tests with the results recorded, analysed and compared. 2

Slide 3:2.1 Literature Review

2.1.1 Related works Research was carried out to find out the various products that have been developed and commercialised over the past years. The ways these products were constructed and integrated into textiles were also recorded. 2.1.2 Commercial e-garments Research was carried out to find out the various products that had been developed and commercialised over the past years. Indeed many projects had been undertaken to combine electronics with textile and nowadays many fashion companies have commercialised electronic garments which can be purchased at a reasonable price. . 3

Slide 4:2.1.3 Connecting Methods In textile different ways to connect an electronic piece should be considered. Clipping, stapling, gluing and snapping by using metal press buttons were some methods that had been exploited in this project. 2.1.4 Power sources  The different power sources available had to be considered since electronic textiles need some kind of electrical power to work. Several types of portable power sources exist which vary in size and power.  2.1.5 Conductive Materials  One very important aspect to consider was conductive materials that could easily be incorporated discretely in textiles. Some of these materials were also used in realising some experimental works in this project.  


Slide 5:2.1.6 Conductive Accessories in garments Metal Accessories have been used in garments for many centuries. They come in different forms and shapes and some are used for specific functions whereas others are used for decorative purposes. Most of the metals used, such as copper, aluminium and alloy, are highly conductive. 2.1.7 LEDs The definition of LED and the connection methods (parallel and in series) were studied. 2.1.8 Resistors The definition, function and the formula for determining the type of resistor to use was considered.


Slide 6:3.0 Methodology

3.1 Materials Materials with good conductive properties, lightweight and thin were sourced and different experiments were carried out. A preliminary research was conducted and the main objective was to turn the conductive materials into a printing paste in a very discrete manner without compromising the drape and other properties of the fabric. Different printing pastes were used and various tests were carried out. Pastes such as expanding binder, high-density clear (H.D.C), normal Binder and conductive printing paste were used.   3.1.1 Aluminium foil Aluminium foil traditionally used in kitchen was used to carry out the first set of experiments. 6

Slide 7:3.1.2 Expanding Binder   Expanding Binder is a printing paste and when heat is applied, the print expands, giving a 3DM effect.  3.1.3 High Density Clear (H.D.C)   High Density clear is another commercial paste, which is thick, opaque and sticky. When heated at very high temperature, it turns into flexible silicone like material. 3.1.4 Silicone Glue Silicones are largely inert, man-made compounds with a wide variety of forms and uses. Typically heat-resistant, nonstick, and rubberlike, they are commonly used in cookware, medical applications, sealants, adhesives, lubricants, and insulation.


Slide 8:3.1.5 Latex Latex is a material that is used in many types of garments and is commonly seen in fetish fashion and costume designs (in movies). They are made in polymers and rubbers and their applications are endless. Latex comes in large sheet and in liquid form. The large sheet can be cut in any garment shapes and glued together to make garments. The liquid latex can be applied to any surface. It will permanently bond to porous materials such as fabric and non porous materials can be used as a mould. The liquid latex contains ammonia as a preservative agent. It will cure at room temperature but is prone to adhere to itself which can be solved by treating the surface. 3.1.6 Conductive Tape/ Fabrics: Electronylon Nickel This versatile fabric is composed of a woven substrate of high quality polyester taffeta fabric with a copper and nickel plating giving great


Slide 9:conductivity. The production process is computer controlled to Ensure consistency and the nickel gives the fabric a dull silver appearance. It has exceptional electrical conductivity of 0 Ohms per 100 mm measured on a 25 mm wide strip (Data sheet available from the Electrotextile Sample Pack, teaching resources, Middlesex University). 3.1.7 Conductive Threads This thread is sufficiently conductive and stronger as compared to domestic poly/cotton thread and behaves like conventional cotton and is made of over 100 strands each with nano-coating of silver. It has an electrical resistance of just 4 Ohms per 100 mm.


Slide 10:3.2 Experimental works 3.2.1 Expanding Binder and High Density Clear Paste (H.D.C.) Target Set: Integrate LEDs in textile through prints. Details: Expanding binder was used as a support to hold the LEDs and the H.D.C was applied on the reverse side over the circuit as an insulator. The circuit consisted of 5 LEDs and a resistor. Target Achieved: Sample was connected to the power supply and lit instantly. The integration of LEDs on the fabric surface was successful although the fabric became a bit stiff because of the layer of H.D.C. Alternative ways would be considered to solve this problem. 3.2.2 Aluminium Foil and High Density Clear Paste Target Set: Using kitchen Aluminium Foil in prints to conduct electricity on textile


11 Applying H.D.C on the back Circuit sealed in H.D.C Front print showing LEDs and Expanding Binder Illuminated Print

Slide 12:Details: A layer of H.D.C. was applied on the fabric with a squeegee via the screen-printing technique using a coarse mesh. Then, the aluminium foil was cut, folded and stuck to the wet paste. The paste was dried and a second coat of H.D.C was applied over the first coat and dried. The Aluminium foil was sandwiched between the two coats of H.D.C. The LEDs were inserted between the folds of the aluminium foil. Target Achieved: A thin transparent plastic print was obtained. The drape, softness and weight of the fabric were not affected. This technique could also be used to conduct Direct Current (DC) from one point to another on a fabric. 3.2.3 Using crushed graphite to make conductive paste  Target Set: Creating conductive print using graphite that can be applied on fabric


13 Aluminum foil cut into shapes Aluminum foil laid over wet H.D.C Aluminum foil sealed in H.D.C

Slide 14:Details: Graphite were crushed and spread over a printed layer of wet H.D.C. H.D.C has excellent adhesive properties and is commonly used in textile for flock and caviar printings. Target Achieved: Paste was not successful. There were too many gaps between each graphite particle. 3.2.4 Crushed aluminium flakes to make conductive paste Target Set: Creating a cheap conductive print using aluminium powder that can be applied on fabric Details: Aluminium flakes were crushed and spread over a printed layer of wet H.D.C. Target Achieved: The printing paste failed to conduct. Carbon nano particles were applied on fabric in the same manner and the results were negative.


15 Crushing Graphite Applying Graphite over wet H.D.C Crushing Aluminum Flake Mixing Carbon Nano Particles with H.D.C

Slide 16:3.2.5 Developing the Printed Electronic Soft Pad using woven fabrics Applying the Conductive Printing Paste on woven fabrics Electrosperse D-112 was purchased from Five Star Technologies, from the USA. It consists of components like Silver, Terpineol, Ethy Cellulose and Glass Frit and is very conductive. It is not made to be used on fabrics. The best way to apply the paste on the fabric and avoid wastage was to use stencil printing technique and to apply the paste either with a brush or a sponge.


Slide 17: Washing Tests with the Conductive Printing Paste Target Set: Testing the resistance of the print after several wash. Details: 3 prints with the Conductive Paste were printed on a piece of fabric. Only 1 coat was applied on the first print, 2 coats on the second print and 3 coats on the third print. All prints were cured. Prior to washing, the resistance of each print was measured and recorded. The fabric was hand washed and line dried. Then the fabric was conditioned in an oven at 105 degrees Celsius for 4 hours. The fabric was washed 3 times under the same procedure and each time the resistance for each print was measured and recorded. Target Achieved: The test carried out helped to determine the washability and durability of the conductive paste.


18 Rectangular Prints using Conductive Paste (Electrosperse D-112) Soft switch

Slide 19: Designing and making Printed Electronic Soft Pad Target Set: The soft pad is similar to a board of electronic switches but made in fabrics, and is soft, thin, light-weight and washable. Each switch on the soft pad can be programmed to perform a particular task such as lighting up or playing a tune. Details: The soft switch consisting of two layers of fabrics was placed on top of each other. The circuit of the soft switch was designed and printed on the fabrics. The two layers were then sewn together and tested. Target Achieved: The soft switch was connected to a power supply and each switch was further connected to a LED. The LED would only light up when a slight pressure was applied on the switch. The soft switch is very soft, light and with draping qualities. The soft switch opens up many avenues that can be further exploited.


Slide 20:3.2.6 Developing the Electronic Label (E-label) Experimenting with High Density Clear Target Set: E-label is a new and innovative invention and which can be used in garments replacing the traditional leather, woven or plastic labels that are used mainly in Jeans (on the waist belt) or on some jackets. Details: A circuit, consisting of LEDs and wires, was made and sealed in high density clear paste and dried at very high temperature. Target Achieved: The samples could be bent and twisted in any direction without compromising the connection and it could be washed and re-used again. The possibility of including the cell battery inside the E-label with other types of Integrated Switches (IC) was further explored. The only problem encountered was that after some time, the H.D.C started to crack. Transparent silicone was used to replace the H.D.C


Slide 21: Experiencing with Transparent Silicone Glue Target Set: Replacing the H.D.C with Transparent Silicone Details: Transparent silicone was spread in an aluminium mould. A circuit, consisting of flat square LEDs, electrical wires and 2 metal clips, were inserted into the wet silicone paste. Connections were soldered together. A logo was designed, printed on translucent paper and thereafter inserted in the wet paste and left to dry overnight. After drying, the silicone was easily removed from the mould. The thickness of the E-label was 5 mm. Target Achieved: Problems encountered with samples: The connections broke at several points. The thickness of the e-label was 5 mm. It needed to be thinner. Smaller LEDs would be considered. Electrical wires were not appropriate and therefore using conductive threads was considered.


Slide 22: Experiencing with Transparent Silicone Glue and using conductive thread Target Set: Replacing the electrical wire with Conductive Thread and reducing the thickness of the E-label from 5 mm to 3mm  Details: The Conductive Thread is a much better choice as the risk of breaking is less. It can bend in any directions and the connections can be made by simply tying knots instead of using solders. Three ends of the conductive threads were twisted together. The circuit was sealed in the silicone and left to dry. Target Achieved: A new product, the E-Label was developed ready to be inserted into any garment in numerous ways. The E-Label would have to be connected to a power supply which would be inserted in the garment. The circuit was protected by the layer of silicone and therefore could easily be washed.


23 Silicone sealed in an aluminum mould Circuit made of conductive threads and LEDS Circuit Sealed in Silicone Circuit can be twisted, bent and wash without Compromising the circuit

Slide 24:3.3 Conductive Threads Conductive threads were purchased from the Internet and could be bought in spool of 200 yards 3.3.1 Simple Experiments using the Conductive thread   Experiment 1- Measuring the resistance value of the Conductive Thread along different length  Experiment 2- Measuring the resistance value of the Conductive Thread when a knot was made along the length (to see whether tying a knot would affect the conductivity) Experiment 3- Measuring the resistance value of the Conductive Thread when several ends of the conductive thread were used together. All results were recorded in a table form.


Slide 25:3.4 Knitting Knitting is defined as a cloth manufacturing process in which needles are used to form a series of interlocking loops from one or many yarns or from a set of yarns (Hollen et al. 1979, p.183). For this project two types of flat knitting machines had been used to knit the samples: Industrial V-Beds Knitting Machines Domestic Knitting Machines (single bed only ) 3.4.1 Knitting with the conductive thread Five samples were knitted in different structures together with the conductive thread. Different yarns, such as 100% Lamb Wool, 100% Wool, 100% Cotton and a blend of 75% Rayon/ 25% PTT, were used to knit the above samples.


Slide 26:3.4.2 Laundry Test The samples were washed at normal temperature (40 Degrees Celsius) and were line dry at room temperature. Thereafter, the samples were conditioned in an oven at 105 degrees Celsius for 4 hours. The conductivity and size of each sample were measured and recorded. 3.4.3 Integrating LEDs into knitted samples Sample 1: Ripples on a 3 X 7 Rib Structure (7 Gauge) Target Set: Varying the knitting structure to make a wearable circuit. Details: Ripples technique was used and knitted on a 7 gauge knitting machine. The conductive thread was used with normal yarn and LEDs were inserted into the knitted sample. Target Achieved: The knitted sample was connected to a DC power supply and the LEDs lit up creating some amazing effects. Furthermore, the sample could be moved, twisted and bent without compromising the connection.


Slide 27: Sample 2: Ripples on a 4 X 4 Rib Structure (5 Gauge) Target Set: Indentifying knitting structures that could be used to incorporate and lit the LEDs using only the conductive threads. Details: A different Ripples Structure was used and knitted on a 5 gauge knitting machine. The conductive thread was used with normal yarn and LEDs were inserted into the knitted sample. Target Achieved: The knitted sample was connected to a DC power supply and the LEDs lit up. Furthermore the sample could be moved, twisted, bent and this did not compromise the connection.


Slide 28:3.4.4 Developing the Knitted Electronic Soft Pad Target Set: Using knitting fabrics to make a soft pad without using any electrical wires and switches. Two techniques were used namely the Ripples Structure and the Single Bed Jersey.  Details: This ripple sample was considered because of the raised surface created by the Ribs. The idea was to lay the ribs facing downward on a flat conductive fabric (Single Bed Jersey). The ribs prevented the conductive thread from touching the fabric underneath unless pressure was applied. Target Achieved: The Knitted Soft Pad was tested and the result was very positive. Sample was very light, soft and could easily be integrated in garments or furniture.


29 3 X 7 Rib Ripple structure, Knitted on a 7 gauge machine 4 X 4 Rib Ripple structure, knitted on a 5 gauge Knitting machine Knitted soft switch

Slide 30:4.0 Further Works:

Developing a cheap conductive printing paste for textiles using powder aluminum and expanding binder. Incorporating conductive materials in woven fabrics through different manipulating techniques without compromising the look and feel of the fabric. Exploiting other manipulating techniques such as embroidery, appliqué, etc. Incorporating the E-Label in garments Establishing illuminating prints in garments (E-Print). Using the soft switch in furniture and in garments to perform a function. Developing products for home interior with some of the ideas developed above. 30

Slide 31:5.0 Problems Encountered:

Difficult to work on research project during semesters. Materials are difficult to find especially on the local market. Materials are expensive. 31

Slide 32:6.0 References:

ANDERSON, D.A., 1961. Elements of Design: New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. BAURLEY, S., 2004. Interactive and Experimental design in smart textile products and applications. Springer London, 8, (3). BERZOWSKA, J. and COELHO, M., 2006. Memory-Rich Clothing: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, ACM 1-59593-298-4/06/0004 BERZOWSKA, J. and COELHO, M., 2006. SMOKS: The memory suits: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, ACM 1-59593-298-4/06/0004 BERZOWSKA, J., 2007. Intimate Electronics: HorizonZero, Issue 16: wear: smart clothes. fashionable technologies BRADDOCK, S. AND O’MAHONY, M., 1998. Techno textiles: Thames and Hudson, London. Vol 1 BRADDOCK, S. AND O’MAHONY, M., 2004. Techno textiles: Thames and Hudson, London. Vol 2 DUNNE, L. ASHDOWN, S. AND SMYTH, B., 2005. Expanding Garment Functionality through Embedded Electronics Technology, 4 (3). GATT, J., Potter, A. AND Selleck, J., 2000. Exploring Visual Design, the elements and principles: Davis Publications, Inc, USA. JONES, S.J. 2002. Fashion Design: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London. McCARTY, C. and Mcquaid, M., 1998. Structure and surface, Japanese Textiles: Museum of Modern ART. MEOLI, D. and PLUMBEE, T.M., 2002. Interactive Electronic Textile Development. A review of technology, JTATM, 2 (2). NEWS OF THE WEEK, 2008. Silicon circuits that fold and stretch. News of the Week, 31 March, p.5a. NKIWANE, L.C., 2005. Intelligent Textile, University of Botswana. Paper presentation. PIOTROWSKI, C., 2004. Becoming an Interior Designer: John Wiley & sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. POST, E.R., and ORTH, M., 1997. Smart Fabric, or “Wearable Clothing”: IEEE. RIBEIRO, J.C OLIVEIRA, S.M MENDES, P.M AND CORREIA, J.H., 2001. Wireless Interface for Sensors in Smart Textiles. 32

Slide 33:WYNNE, A., 1997. Textiles-The Motivate Series: Macmillan Education Ltd, London SMARTTEXTILES and NANOTECHNOLOGY, 2006. Softswitch Technology riding a second wave. Smarttextiles and Nanotechnology, November, p.1&5. SMARTTEXTILES and NANOTECHNOLOGY, 2006. Philips Lumalive dazzles in Berlin. Smarttextiles and Nanotechnology, November, p.6a. SMARTTEXTILES and NANOTECHNOLOGY, 2006. Levi’s launch for Fibretronic. Smarttextiles and Nanotechnology, November, p.6a. SMARTTEXTILES and NANOTECHNOLOGY, 2006. Luminescent textiles for new effects in home furnishings. Smarttextiles and Nanotechnology, December, p.13a. SMARTTEXTILES and NANOTECHNOLOGY, 2006. Ink-jet System paves way for more intelligent substrates. Smarttextiles and Nanotechnology, December, p.4a. THE ECONOMIST TECHNOLOGY QUARTERLY, 2008. The New Shape of Circuitry. The Economist Technology Quarterly, 8 March, p.6a. [Accessed 09 November 2006]. [Accessed 09 November 2006]. [Accessed 18 October 2006]. [Accessed 18 October 2006]. [Accessed 10 March 2008]. [Accessed 5 February 2008]. [Accessed 12 February 2008]. [Accessed 13 February 2008]. [Accessed 12 February 2008]. [Accessed 6 April 2008]. Http:// [Accessed 10 March 2009].ŕ-led-rose-laničre-en-cuir-blanc [Accessed 31 March 2009]. [Accessed 08 April 2009]. [Accessed 08 April 2009]. Http:// [Accessed 08 April 2009].


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