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Current images are approximation. Finished swatch will be slightly different. New diagrams will be posted soon.

Credits: Jesse Seay

Year of Invention: 2014

Description:

To activate circuit, connect 3v to the top row. Connect bottom row to ground.

An LED circuit demonstrates the use of machine knitting tinned copper wire (“bus wire”) for e-textiles.

This should work with any single bed Brother. Hand knitters have also reported success with it.

Bus wire is pre-tinned copper wire used in electronic circuits. It is inexpensive, solders easily, has stable conductivity, and negligible resistance. When a spool is properly set up, it easily feeds into the knitting machine. I use two strands of 36 AWG wire, held together, for greater flexibility and strength.

Who this technique is for:

  • Artists. I create large circuit knit sculptures for gallery display (not wearing). Rapid production and inexpensive materials is important in this application.
  • Costumers. People often create e-textiles for “special occasion” wear (i.e. costumes, party wear). For these kinds of projects, rapid production is more important than ruggedness. This is especially true with accessory pieces (like a bracelet or hat). I had these makers in mind when developing this method.
  • Electronics novices. Bus wire makes knitted circuitry easy to solder. This makes it approachable by novices. I use circuit knit bracelets for a “learn to solder” workshop. I plan to develop more circuit knit projects to introduce electronics to a wider, more craft-oriented audience.

Limitations:

  • Circuits soldered with lead should not be worn against the skin. (Lead free solder can be used instead.) Circuits need a lining for the wearer’s protection.
  • Wires should not be handled roughly or bent. The wire should not be worn where it will be repeatedly bent with a tight radius. However, if treated with the same care usually reserved for hand knitted textiles, it holds up fine.

Materials:
36 AWG tinned copper wire, 2 spools
cotton yarn
LEDs
resistors
solder

Techniques:
machine knitting, soldering

References/Inspirations:

Hacked knitting machine

Knitting with wire

eTextiles

 

Dimensions:
8 cm x 7 cm

Links:
technique:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Knit-a-Working-Circuit-Board/

http://makezine.com/2014/06/25/how-to-knit-a-working-circuit/

http://hackaday.com/2014/06/19/knitted-circuit-board-lends-flexibility-to-e-textiles/

blog entries:

http://blog.jesseseay.com/tag/knitting%20electronic%20circuits

 

Photo:

Knitting Pattern:

LED Sample knit pattern

Circuit Diagram:
LED Sample 1_pcb


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