eTextile Minicamp

During the weeks from November 2nd to November 20th, Mrs. Lind hosted a mini-camp in the morning for wearable tech, or eTextiles, where students were able to sew their own garments that would have functions and tasks to perform.

eTextiles are also known as smart garments, and are basically fabrics and textiles that have digital components embedded in them. That allows the clothing to do something that the programmer wanted them to do, like flash a light when it’s dark or buzz when touched. “I surprisingly just found out that sewing is so much fun!” says Florie Sambuis, an 8th grader who attended the minicamp. “It is really easy, and you can do whatever pattern you want to do on the fabric. I think that, once you understand the concept of the website [Arduino website] and how to code, it becomes really fun, and you get to become creative with your coding patterns.”

During the camp, students experimented with attaching electronics to fabric to make devices that would perform things based on what they programmed. To do this, they used Arduino Lilypads, sewable electronic pieces that could build interactive textiles. Students connected the main component of the Arduino Lilypad set to the computer with a USB and used an application to code their own projects. They are mostly focused on using LED’s, as well as sensors, switches, and buttons. “We are creating tech embedded clothing by designing, sewing and programming conductive wire, soft circuits, and other electronic elements to create interactive, light up ensembles–for humans and animals alike.” said Mrs. Lind, the IT specialist. “Since we have discovered that it takes more than a week of mornings to learn how to design and sew circuity and program Arduino Lilypads, we will continue a few more days and end with a ‘style show’ of the creations.”

After the three weeks are over, Mrs. Lind is planning on videotaping the projects that the students have completed in the dark to showcase the LED’s and sensors that they have programmed.