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Sound Scales by Hannah

Credits: Meg Grant

Year of Invention: 2013/2014

More information about the original project – http://meggrant.com/soundscales.php
More information about making this swatch – http://meggrant.com/soundscales-swatch.php

In the textile – paillette sequin fabric (plastic sequins machine-stitched onto mesh fabric backing), brass piezo diaphragm, nail varnish, enameled copper litz wire, solder, Gunze & Mitsufuji gold coated polyamide.
In the paper circuit – paper, self-adhesive copper foil, Velostat®, SOIC 555 chip, 1KΩ resistor, 1µF capacator, solder, hot glue, double-sided tape.

A sewing hole was drilled in the piezo element, which was then coated in nail varnish to reduce any oxidization.  The piezo is stitched to the fabric and connected to ground by sewing through the hole with conductive thread.  In the dress, this is a series of ground threads laid into the base mesh fabric.  Once sewn in place, a fine litz wire is attached with low-temp solder paste to the ceramic part of the piezo.  In the dress, these wires are connected to a chain of PWM motor drivers, but for the swatch I’ve used a simple astable frequency circuit using a 555 IC.  The copper foil circuit was designed in Illustrator and cut on a vinyl cutting machine.

This sample shows how a single piezo disc can be embedded into paillette sequin fabric.  I used this technique for my project Sound Scales.  Sound Scales is a dress that surrounds the body with sound in a similar way that perfume surrounds the body with scent. One hundred and sixty piezo elements are integrated into a paillette-covered fabric to showcase the form of the component.  Each piezo is individually addressable via 10 daisy-chained motor drivers linked to an Arduino micro-controller.


Paillette sequin textile – 70mmx70mm
Paper circuit board – 148mmx104mm

Supporting Materials:

Sound Scales swatch

sound scales swatch from meg grant on Vimeo

Sound Scales dress on the catwalk
Photo by Carol Seelig Eastman at Fashionware/Living in Digital Times

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