Conductive Thread - Waxed

Introduction: Conductive Thread - Waxed

When sewing by hand, conductive thread frequently tangles into a knot.
Not only is this a nuisance, it slows down production.

When doing tailoring or couture sewing you quickly learn to wax your threads.
By waxing several strands of conductive thread before you begin your project you will reduce tangles,  lower your frustration levels and speedily finish your project.

Yes, this works like a charm with any type of thread.

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Step 1: Gather Your Parts

Conductive thread
Bees Wax
Piece of scrap paper

Step 2: Waxing

Before I waxed my thread I measured the resistance at 7.5 ohms per foot.
Pull the thread three to four times thru the bees wax.

Step 3: Apply Heat

Place the waxed thread between two pieces of scrap paper.
Place a hot iron on the paper and pull the thread thru.

Step 4: Waxed Conductive Thread

After waxing the conductive thread the resistance measured 8.2 ohms per foot.
Now to sew sew sew your LEDs to some fabric.

Step 5: Sew!

Happy tangle free sewing!

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    12 years ago on Introduction

    Hello my Beautifull Friend, Only one question.
    What size conductive threads do you use with the different work shops posted on this site. You have for materials only conductive thread.
    I am getting ready to invest in the threads and want to order the right sizes.
    Here I go again there are two questions.
    What is the name of the book you recomend for the electronics info.

    Have a happy new year,
    I hope you get a chance to come to Virginia some time.
    I would to meet you, you send such wonderful energy.
    With much respect and Love ,
    Maria E.Cosimano-Kohl

    Lynne Bruning
    Lynne Bruning

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Most people use the 2ply thread because it works with hand-sewing and most home sewing machines - both bobbin and top tread.

    I use 4ply because of it has less resistance and works with my industrial machines. I have just become aware of a 6ply conductive thread at Sparkfun and am anxious to give it try.

    I think Hannah has the best reviews and comparisonson conductive thread.

    Sources are LessEMF for bulk thread orders or Sparkfun.

    For books I would go to your local library (I LOVE libraries) or check Adafruit's book section

    Enjoy creating!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Where would you get conductive thread from?(sorry if its a dumb question :P)


    13 years ago on Introduction

    I did a little research and found this information on silicone and thread:

    Is it OK to use Silicone lubricant on thread?
    by Bob at Superior Threads

    Silicone is a chemical polymer lubricant that is sometimes used to make an uncooperative thread run better. Some spray it onto the thread and others thoroughly immerse the thread in a bucket of silicone and soak it overnight. If the thread requires full immersion and soaking, and you are using the right needle and made appropriate tension adjustments, I recommend finding another thread. That's too much silicone. As thread manufacturers, we asked our engineers, factories, machine experts, and fiber consultants regarding the use of silicone.

    Q. Is the silicone used for thread lubricant water soluble?
    A. Most is oil soluble and does not mix with water.
    Q. Does silicone affect the colorfastness of the thread or fabric?
    A. No. There is no evidence of silicone affecting colorfastness.
    Q. Can silicone stain the fabric?
    A. Yes. If you use enough silicone on the thread to penetrate the spool or cone, the excessive amount of silicone may discolor or stain the thread and fabric.
    Q. Is it safe to use a small amount of silicone?
    A. Probably. Just don't soak the thread in it.
    Q. Will silicone spray hurt my machine.
    A. An excessive amount may over-lubricate but a small amount should be OK.
    Q. How about soaking the entire cone of thread in silicone?
    A. No. Use a thread that does not require soaking.
    Q. Is silicone safe?
    A. A little is most likely OK. According to OSHA, silicone is defined as a hazardous substance. It is combustible. It can cause skin and respiratory tract irritation.



    13 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for sharing this technique..very nice.  scoochmarooo - I've used Silicone, but never one that came right off the spool! ... fantastic!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Neat.  I've done this with conductive thread, but was worried about conductivity.  I still don't trust my multimeter skills.
    Have you tried this with Thread Heaven? 
    In school, we used to rig up our sewing machines to auto-condition our threads as they came off the spool!  The Thread Heaven (which is silicone) works better for this, as the wax can get clumpy and messy.

    Lynne Bruning
    Lynne Bruning

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    More proof that Scoochmaroo knows ALL! 
    I've never heard of Thread Heaven conditioner and protector. 
    Rushing to my shopping cart to order some.
    thanks beautiful!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    It seems like this would also make its resistivity more constant. Is that the case? I was reading about conductive thread an their resistance seems to be patchy. The article said that because the actual conductive fibers can become separated and the resistance can jump to kilo or mega ohms. It seems like waxing the thread can force the fibers to stay in contact with one another better. Does this happen?

    Lynne Bruning
    Lynne Bruning

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    yes sean, the wax does help hold the thread whiskers together.  Unfortunately, the wax eventually erodes so it is not a long term solution.