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Title: At the Fringes

Credits: Liza Stark

Year of Invention: 2017

Fringes hang beneath. They create the boundary between finished object and the outer world. They give movement to otherwise static textiles, unmasking the potential for action. This swatch employs a pulling mechanic to turn fringe into a switch. Ribbons, fabric scraps, and other textile leftovers are placed between two conductive patches drawn together by magnets. When pulled out, the patches make contact and trigger an LED. Each switch is part of a series of voltage dividers acting as a resistor ladder that allows multiple switches to exist on one ATtiny analog pin.

Fringes is also a term used to describe people living on the outer edges of society, people who don’t fit into confined social and societal categories. Some of us choose to live at the fringes in countercultural movements or the like, while some of us have no choice given our gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic background within a given cultural context. Exchanging stories of fringe experiences creates opportunities for empowering dialogue and shared understanding. This swatch is a first prototype of a story collecting and telling project inspired by a series of workshops at the intersection of eTextiles and activism. Pulling a piece of fringe will activate a fabric speaker patch within a larger quilt to reveal a personal experience of living in a fringe space.


Sound Scales by Meg Grant, 2013/14 Embedding components into ornamented textiles with hanging or free-flowing embellishments.

Voltage Divider by Pauline Vierne, Paul Seidler and Jussi Mikkonen, 2016 Using resistor ladder and voltage divider principles to put multiple switches on one analog pin.

Resistor ladder tutorial

Quilting and crafting circles as spaces for community building and collective storytelling.

1210/3528 SMD LEDs
ATtiny 85
8 pin socket
1K, 3K, 5.1K, 10K Ohm resistors
Neodymium magnets
Heat’N’Bond Fusible Interfacing
Fabric Glue
Glue Gun
Copper taffeta fabric
Ribbon and fabric scraps
3V battery

Techniques: Fabric bonding Vinyl Cutting

Dimensions: 13 x 16.5 cm


eTextile Swatchbook 2017: Fringes Documentation

eTextile Swatchbook 2017: Fringes DocumentationeTextile Swatchbook 2017: Fringes Documentation




Patterns, Templates, Schematics, Circuit Diagrams:

All code, schematics, and cutting files located HERE.