Log-in | Site Admin

Credits: Martin De Bie
Year of Invention: 2017
Dimensions (in cm): 4.0 x 5.2 


I always look after a way to make pcb with textile through a complete and perennial process. During long time, laser cutting and using fusible was the best way for me to make this circuit like textilo that i made two years ago for the swatchBook or for the workshop “Sensing EMFs through textiles” last year. But after few manipulation, the connection can break (1, 2) and it’s very fragile. So i decide to try other technics to consolidate the circuit. For the swatch book this year, i continue to explore the vinegar etching technic to make my circuit but this time instead of trying to make a precise circuit some parts are made by hand, making a unique version of each pcb. i was inspired by the workshop “Batik and Copper fabric etching” during the summer camp 2013. To express the idea, i’ve made a simple attiny capacitive circuit which trigger a led. After etching the circuit and solder the component, i apply a layer of silicone to secure the connections.


Batik and etching workshop, Mili Tharakan and Hannah Perner-Wilson (http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/?p=596)
Technique Salt and vinegar etching, Kobakant (http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2575)
Fabric PCBs, electronic sequins, and socket buttons: techniques for e-textile craft, Leah Buechley and Michael Eisenberg (http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~coms6998-11/papers/buechley.pdf)


Copper fabric (Shieldex Kassel-RS)
Silicone rubber compound
Etching mix (white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and salt)
Electronic component (Attiny85, SMD led, 10M ohm resitor, attiny holder)


Vinegar etching, soldering, silicone casting.

Photo (of sample swatch):





Step by step:

Etch circuit

1. Prepare the emulsion
60% white vinegar (25% acidity) / 40% hydrogen peroxide / spoon of salt / Drop of lemon

60% White vinegar (25% acidity) 40% Hydrogen peroxide Few drops of lemon A spoon of salt
2. Make the circuit

Circuit2 Circuit1
3. Cut the vinyl (stencil) / One regular and one in mirror for the back side

cutVinyl1 cutVinyl2 cutVinyl3 cutVinyl4
4. Stick vinyl on fabric / both side

vinylOnFabric1 vinylOnFabric2
5. Apply vaseline on both side

6. Let it cold down in freezer

7. Unstick the vinyl and put it into the etch bath

unstick3 unstick unstick2
8. Let it etch during approximately 1h

etch1 etch2
9. Wash it and let it dry

wash1 wash2 wash3


Solder circuit

1. Put some flu on each connection that you have to solder

2. Put a little bit of tin on the component leg

3. Solder elements together / Did it carefully because it super fragile so don’t let your soldering iron too long

solder3 solder2


Secure the circuit

1. Prepare the silicone
2. Apply the silicone where the connection are solder

silicone1 silicone2 silicone3
3. Let it dry during at least 12h


Making of (https://flic.kr/s/aHskUb5Pex)
Hybrid process, vinegar etching (http://hybridprocess.org/2016/05/24/vinegar-etching-textile-pcb/)



Leave a Reply