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Credits: Tincuta Heinzel in collaboration with ATRG – Nottingham Trent University, (UK).

Year of Invention: 2015


Description: The present sample is part of a research project which looks to develop a series of graphic (embroidered/printed/knitted) textile based sensors that could function both as manuals (guides) for the construction of such textiles based sensors, as well as signage for announcing the presence of such sensors into the structure of the textiles (fabrics). It is about the development of a repertory of such sensors, where their graphical form serve also as information sign.


Sample: The two samples I present here are temperature sensors based on thermocouples principles. The first sample is of type E (Chromel – Constantan), the second is of type T (Copper- Constantan). See the sketch below.


Technical details: There are four main contact temperature-sensing devices available, divided in three families: thermocouples (self-generating sensors), resistance temperature detectors and thermistors (resistive sensors), and temperature – transducing ICs (PN or Semiconductive). These sensors translate the temperature into a reference voltage, resistance or current, which is then measured and processed and a numerical temperature value is computed. (From: http://sensorwiki.org/doku.php/sensors/temperature?s[]=thermocouples)


Types of thermocouples:

Type E (Chromel – Constantan)

Type J (Iron – Constantan)

Type K (Chromel – Alumel)

Type M (Ni/Mo 82%/18% – Ni/Co 99.2%/0.8%, by weight)

Type N (Nicrosil – Nisil)

Type T (Copper – Constantan)



1. Constantan High-Flex 8394 7×1(Karl Grimm) + Linen Inox thread (Bart Francis) – Sensor type E

2. Constantan resistive wire + Cooper resistive wire (Conrad) – Sensor type T


Circuit Diagram: 


Techniques: Several techniques can be used to have as many as need it hot points into the structure of the fabric. The sample is illustrated by sewing and embroidery techniques, but knitting and weaving can also be considered. (see, for example, tapestry diagonal interlock technique).


References/Inspirations: 2013 & 2014 E-textile summer camp experiences with constantan threads + ATRG’s past experiences + Drawing circuits workshop e-textile summer camp 2014

Dimensions: 10 x 10 cm.



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