This is an Instructable on how to make a toggle switch out of conductive Velcro, fabric and conductive thread.
Lately I've been playing with conductive thread and sewing circuits with LEDs into clothing. What I found that I really wanted in these garments was a soft switch to turn my circuit on and off. Who wants to mess around with a clunky plastic switch on a garment? Not I. So, that's when I came up with this.
Here are the things that you need:
1. A project that needs a switch. Could be anything -- let your imagination go crazy!
2. Sewing needles and regular thread (JoAnn Fabric and CraftsJoAnn Fabric and Crafts)
3. Scissors JoAnn Fabric and Crafts
4. Conductive Thread LessEMF
5. Conductive Velcro LessEMF
6. Material JoAnn Fabric and Crafts
7. Fusible Interfacing for Fabric JoAnn Fabric and Crafts
Step 1: Cutting the Switch From Fabric
Next step is to fuse the interfacing onto your material. Fusing interface on to your material adds rigidity to the fabric. It is not necessary, but useful in some circumstances. Fusing interface on to your material will also slow down the fraying process of your fabric if you choose not to finish the edges.
Next, cut out a rectangle that will fold over onto itself. Then cut two pieces of conductive Velcro, one piece that is the hook side and the other the loop side, that are slightly smaller than half the size of the fabric.
Step 2: Stitching the Conductive Velcro to the Fabric
Stitch the Velcro pieces next to each other on the fabric, but leave a space where the fabric can bend over onto itself. You can use your regular thread for this step.
Step 3: Securing the Stitch to the Project
Next, stitch the one side of the fabric rectangle with regular thread, with both sides onto your project in the desired location.
Step 4: Connecting the Circuit to the Switch
Your next step is to sew the traces from your circuit to either side of the Velcro with conductive thread. For the piece that will flap up, sew on the base of your project, until you reach the midpoint in between the hook and loop side of the Velcro, then take a few stitches onto the fabric switch and sew on the desired side of the switch. Be very careful not to sew your conductive thread where it might short the circuit or cause any other interfering problems.
Step 5: Turn on the Juice!
Add your power supply. In this case I am using a 3v lithium cell battery in a clip which is neat and tidy for fabric pieces. Next, flip your switch to the closed position and let the fun begin!