Picture of How to sew an electronic circuit
This instructable tells you how to create real electronic circuits using a textile perfboard, (a piece of conductive fabric) instead of a rigid perfboard. You will be able to sew resistors, capacitors, LED's, integrated circuits and many other components. This is a list of what you will need:

- textile perfboard (you can find it on
- traditional components (not SMD!) like resistors, capacitors, LED's, IC's
- sewing needle
- sewing thread.  I suggest shrinking sewing thread, you can find it in embroidery shops or on . It is a special sewing thread that shrinks 30% in lenght when exposed to heat.
- pliers
- wire cutter (or nail trimmer)

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Step 1: Preparing discrete components

Picture of Preparing discrete components
Let's start to sew a resistor like the one you see in the picture. The resistor has two straight terminals as shown in the picture. Start by bending both terminals 90° as shown. Bend again both terminals at 90° as shown in the picture. Cut both terminals so that their tip is about  8 mm (0.31") long.

Step 2: Placing discrete components on perfboard

Picture of Placing discrete components on perfboard
Now place the resistor over the textile perfboard with terminals parallel to the metal perfboard stripes and adjust the distance between the terminals so that they are over the metal stripes of the fabric. Then gently insert both terminals at the same time inside the fabric, parallel to the metal stripes. When doing this you must be careful that terminals remain inside the fabric without coming out on the back of fabric. To obtain this insert terminals parallel to fabric. See pictures and explainations.

Step 3: Sewing discrete components

Picture of Sewing discrete components
Now you can start sewing using shrinking sewing thread. Sew along the black lines around terminals so that they are tightly wrapped. It is suggested also to sew around the vertical part of the terminals.  Repeat the same steps for the othr terminal and your resistor is sewn and connected!
synthdust2 years ago
What was the circuit you 'sewed' here?
Way way way way way way cool!!! Thanks for sharing
(removed by author or community request)
rmarchesi (author)  neverforget.9115 years ago
You cannot stop terrorist threats by stopping technology diffusion and scientific research.
I do believe that the exploitation of these technologies will save more lives (think about portable medical devices) than the number of lives they might eventually put in danger.
And, thank God, scientific community agrees with these principles.
Ok with keeping with the "NICE" policy I'll put it this way. #1 Airports us a combo of many ways of finding things that shouldn't be there (Ie metal detectors, x-ray, dogs, personal inspections and others that people don't know about and shouldn't know about) so things this this won't get past them. #2 Do you really think some thing thats being posted on ehre hasn't already been thought about or even been put into pratice? This site is all about others sharing thier ideas and thoughts and plans about things thay have made or designed them selfs. If there was an issue with some thing or the content of their ideas it would be taken down before it was an issue. I lost 2 friends in 9-11 and I my self am Ex-Navy, I know the risks of everyday life and for you to take some thing like this and call "FOUL" is counter productive in helping others.

Just relax and let those who know "Their" jobs do them.
Are you kidding me?  seriously you think we should abandon all information technology on the off hand someone might perhaps do something stupid with it? This is not a description on how to make a bomb or bypass airport security, its about making wearable circuits, the many metal components would most likely set off the airport metal detector.

I know if they want it they'll  find it. I’m just sayin…..Please step out of your box and realize you are putting lots of people in danger by making this information so readily available .
Your 'just sayin' you didn't think too much about your reply before posting it, this ible is really just a how to helper. Who's being but in danger by this? Any one with a bit of time can figure this out, this poster just wanted to make a it little bit of a shorter learning curve. And I will be flagging your comment just so you know.
troykyo5 years ago
Cool!  Where do I get the textile perf board?
rmarchesi (author)  troykyo5 years ago
Steinzel5 years ago
This is cool, I like it! It gives me a lot of ideas. I've messed around a bit with conductive paint, this adds a whole different aspect to wearable art.

I hope "Neverforget" never decides to get into politics. lol
Doctor What5 years ago
 What a nice method!  I do prefer using conductive thread though.
rmarchesi (author)  Doctor What5 years ago
The advantage here is that metal stripes can carry quite a good quantity of current, with conductive thread (usually coated) you are always limited. Conductive thread of course gives you more flexibility in designing circuits.