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.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- 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.
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).
- hand needle
- needle threader
- sewing machine
- 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!