Touch Screen Gloves

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Posted in CraftSewing

Introduction: Touch Screen Gloves

Recycle an old sweater into stylish touch screen gloves. Using a sweater you already have, or one you find at a thrift shop, you can create warm, customized gloves that really work on touch screens. These touch screen gloves can be machine washed on the cold gentle setting (the wool hand wash setting on some machines) and dried using the low heat setting.

You can also just sew conductive thread onto gloves you already have instead of making them yourself.

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Step 1: Materials & Tools

Materials

  • old sweater
  • coordinating all-purpose sewing thread
  • conductive thread

Note about conductive thread: Not all metal thread is equal.

The thread I used is adafruit Stainless Thin Conductive Yarn/Thick Conductive Thread. You can buy it through Amazon or adafruit’s website. It’s soft and fuzzy, easy to sew with, and won’t scratch your touch screen.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SK8PM84/ref=o...

https://www.adafruit.com/product/603

Researching different possible types of conductive thread, I considered some metal threads that did not seem to work well on touch screens. Brands that are NOT recommended are:

Coats Metallic Thread – Reviews say it’s not conductive. Merely metal strands wrapped around polyester.

Boye SensaThread – Reviews say it doesn’t work well. Too bad since it’s on Walmart’s and JOANN’s websites, as well as Amazon.

Some people have used conductive paint, like nanotips or AnyGlove, to make touch screen gloves but, based on reviews, they doesn’t work well and they also seem to wear off or wash off quickly.

Puffy fabric paint will work on resistive screens but not screens that require electrical conduction (like Apple products).

Tools

  • hand needle
  • needle threader
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • pins
  • chalk (regular blackboard chalk or tailor’s chalk)

Step 2: Video

Step 3: Get a Sweater

Find an old sweater in your closet or the thrift shop.

Step 4: Turn Sweater Inside-Out

Turn sweater inside-out (so right sides are facing together).

Step 5: Position Hand on Sweater

Position hand at the bottom of the sweater as pictured. Spread your fingers wide apart and place your hand so that the rib knit at the bottom of the sweater will be where you would like it to be on your gloves.

Step 6: Trace Hands

Trace outlines of hands with chalk.

Step 7: Pin Layers Together

Pin two layers of sweater together so the pieces won’t shift.

Step 8: Cut Out Pieces

Cut out pieces about 1/4" from chalk outline (this provides the seam allowance).

Step 9: Sew Glove Pieces Together

You could sew the conductive thread onto the fingers before assembling the gloves, which might make sewing easier, but it might make it harder to find the right location for the conductive thread so I prefer to add the conductive thread after the gloves have been assembled.

With your sewing machine, using regular all-purpose thread, and with the sewing machine on a straight stitch, sew on the chalk outline from one side of the glove all the way around to the other side of the glove (about 1/4" from the edge), leaving the entry for the hand unsewn. Between the fingers, sew to the V on the chalk outline.

Step 10: Snip Into Seam Allowance

Snip into the seam allowances between fingers, but not through stitches. This will allow the fingers to move freely.

Step 11: Turn Gloves Right-Side Out

Turn gloves right-side out. Then try them on and make any adjustments as needed.

Step 12: Sew Conductive Thread

Hand sew conductive thread onto the index finger and thumb of gloves. You might want to have a conductive middle finger too; it’s up to you. Make sure the threads inside the gloves have plenty of contact with your fingers. If it doesn’t work well, add some stitches to increase conductivity and it will work. The thread is soft so the touch screen gloves will still be comfortable.

Step 13: All Done!

Admire your handiwork.

Step 14: Enjoy Using Your New Touch Screen Gloves!

Have fun surfing and texting!

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    4 Comments

    From the manufacturer's website:

    Because it is made of stainless steel fibers, it will not oxidize like silver does: your projects will not 'stop working' because of oxidation after a few months and its safe to wash.

    A few questions: 1.Does sewing the thread in a sort of messy way make the screen detect the gloves better? I'm certainly not trying to be critical because you did an Awesome (& extremely neat) job sewing the gloves in the exact size & shape of your hands on a sewing machine (something I couldn't do myself). I was wondering if it was intentional?
    2. Personally, I would have to start of with plain premade gloves, but was wondering if I sewed the conductive thread into a small pattern, like a heart or a smilie face would the gloves still work?
    3. Have you seen conductive thread, that still works well, in any other colors than silver?
    4. Do these gloves still work through the typical "shatter proof" screen protectors found everywhere?
    5.***IMPORTANT: If I accidentally touch my eyeglasses with this thread, will I scratch them? Or is this thread sharp like thin wire that you can "crochet" into chain mail jewelery? Sorry, I'm having a hard time imagining what this thread is like. I've lost at least 1 glove out of 3 pairs of touch screen gloves that cost $25 or more within a few weeks of receiving them as Christmas gifts. So, I haven't received any gloves, hats or scarves as gifts in several years, plus these are washable for flu season. Your Instructable is going to save me so much money-And frostbitten fingers! Thanks!!!

    1 reply

    1. The sewing can be neat. I was just being fast and casual.

    2. I think an image or attractive pattern would work just as well as long as there's enough conductive thread on the inside and outside of the fingers.

    3. I haven't seen conductive thread that works well in other colors. They may exist, but I don't know of them.

    4. I have tempered glass screen protectors on my iPads and Android phone and the gloves work.

    5. The thread isn't scratchy like wire, it's soft like wool.

    Hope this helps!