This Instructable will cover the basic principle of how to make the stretchy fabric connection and isolate it. Though I take no responsibility for what might go wrong.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Stretch conductive fabric from www.lessemf.com
(also see http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/stretch_conductive_fabric)
- Fusible interfacing from local fabric store or
(also see www.shoppellon.com)
- Conductive thread from www.sparkfun.com
(also see http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/conductive_thread)
- A USB cable from your excess of USB cables lying around or from any local electronics store
- Stretch fabric (cotton jersey or similar) from local fabric store or old clothing item
- Regular sewing thread from local fabric store
- Aleene's stretchable fabric glue from www.amazon.com
- Baby powder from local drugstore
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing needle
- Soldering iron and solder
- Wire clippers
- Wire strippers
- Stanley knife
Step 2: Stripping the Wires
Once you have cut the wires, strip the wires (see picture). Another thing I didnÃ¢â¬â¢t do, which would be a good idea, is to actually solder a wire to the ground (isolation) and also make a stretch conductive connection for this (IÃ¢â¬â¢ll include this in future versions).
Once the wires have been stripped, make little loops as the end of each wire and using a bit of solder, fixate these so that they are closed circles.
Step 3: Ironing Conductive Traces
Lay out your piece of regular stretch fabric on an ironing board or other good ironing surface. Iron it flat, and then fuse (iron-on) your conductive strips so that they go from one end to the other with about 5mm spacing in between.
The resistance for a 5mm thin strip over 30 cm seems to be about 60 Ohm. You can actually about half the resistance by making the strip twice as wide (1cm).
Step 4: Sewing
Step 5: Insulating
You can either isolate each trace individually or, as I ended up doing, you can spread a thin layer over all of the traces and spaces using a piece of cardboard to spread the glue after first applying it evenly.
You will also want to isolate the conductive stitches on the back of your fabric!
NOW you will have to wait a whole day for it to dry. So better to just leave it and come back to it the next day.
Step 6: Baby Powder
You can check the resistance and it should not have changed at all, or only very little. In my case it even improved (or I measured a different trace the second time round).
Step 7: Plugging In
In my case I chose a regular to small USB connection that I normally use for my digital camera, to download images. And it worked!
First of all I downloaded all of the pictures for this Instructable using a non-tampered-with USB cable. And then I took a random picture of my wall and plugged in my stretch fabric USB connection and then my camera and all worked. But I have no proof that things aren't going wrong at the same time. So please do this at your own risk.
But have fun doing it.
Pictures of this last step were taken using a different camera, since my camera can not take pictures of itself. So these will be uploaded shortly.