Embroidery And Electronics - How Does That Fit Together? (Wearable USA 2018)

Dr Topher Anderson, Project Manager/Product Development
United States


USA 2018 (pdf) Presentation - IDTechEx*
USA 2018 (audio) Presentation - IDTechEx*

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Presentation Summary

E-textiles have never been easier to prototype or manufacture using technical embroidery techniques. Technical embroidery allows for various electronics, circuit boards, and sensors to be seamlessly integrated into a textile in a highly repeatable technique. Utilizing F-head style embroidery, conductive threads can be embroidered to create flexible circuits as well as flexible sensors and connections. Additionally, technical embroidery allows for the automated integration of existing GFR-4 circuit boards into fabric carriers including mechanical and electrical connections. K-head style embroidery has been used to create high surface area electrodes for various biometric applications. W-head style embroidery has been used for the integration of thicker wires, CAT-5 cable, and thermal control systems. Additionally, traditional sequins have been repurposed as micro-circuit boards to integrate electronics like LED's into fabrics. Not only are the sequins placed onto the fabric, but the electrical connections to them are additionally and automatically embroidered eliminating required post processing steps. Example cases of various electronics integrated into embroidered textiles will be shown using ZSK's new e-textiles embroidery machines