Step 1: Prepare Gloves
Gather together the necessary materials.
You will need: an insulated glove, conductive thread, conductive fabric, a battery pack with room for two AAA batteries, three LEDs, some fabric and cotton stuffing. Take the glove and flip it inside out, so that all your stitching will be on the inside. Mark the spots where your knuckles are. this is to mark where the LEDs will be placed. Now make an incision near the base of the glove so that you can fit your hand in between the outer layer and the fleece layer for sewing.
Step 2: Sew in the LEDs
Start by fastening a piece of conductive thread to the positive and negative legs of the LED. I have done so by simply tying the thread to the leg then bending it over onto itself to hold it in place.
The LEDs will be placed in between the glove layers so they are not visible from the outside of when the glove is inverted back to normal. stitch the LED in place just below the mark made earlier facing away from the fleece layer.
Start stitching up and around to the next knuckle. Remember that one string is positive and one is negative so be sure not to let these cross over each other.
Step 3: Attaching Battery
Take the positive thread and sew it toward to the base of the glove where the battery pack will sit. Attach the battery pack in between the outer and inner layer of the glove by tying a knot through the metal conductive loop. Take another piece of conductive thread and attach it to the negative side of the battery pack in the same way. Start sewing the "negative" piece of thread up toward the other side of the glove, this will become one side of the pressure switch.
Step 4: Construct Pressure Switch
Take the negative piece of thread from the finger and start to stitch it around to the palm side of the glove. When you reach an optimal pressure point on the palm stitch in a circle to create a target point for contact between the two negative threads (one being from the LED and the other from the battery pack). From the inside it will look something like figure 2 below.
Next construct the other side of the switch. Start by attaching the negative thread coming from the battery pack to the piece of conductive fabric. Next make a hole in a piece of regular fabric and start sewing it to the conductive fabric to it using regular thread ensuring that there is a thin layer of cotton in between the layers. This bit of cotton is important because it keeps the conductive fabric from touching the conductive thread until pressure is applied.
Step 5: Fasten Switch Into Place and Enjoy!
The fabric switch that you have just constructed is now ready to be fastened into place onto the fleece part of the glove with the cotton covered hole facing the conductive thread target stitching. This is difficult to explain but I hope it becomes clear when working with the material itself. Keep in mind that this is all happening between the layers of the palm side of the glove.
The final step will be to stitch up the holes in at the base of the glove. It is also a good idea to stitch a piece of fabric over the areas where the conductive thread is showing so that it is not directly touching your skin when the glove is flipped back around. Finally invert the glove so the outside in in again.
The final product will look like a normal glove because all the stitching and components will be hidden. The lights will illuminate when you grab the handlebars of your bike!
Runner Up in the
Soft Circuit Contest