Becky Stern demonstrates how she created a lily pad embroidery piece that responds to motion with blinking lights and sound. “I’ve been working with Leah Buechley’s LilyPad Arduino, and in true embroidery sampler fashion, have composed this circuit to see what I could do. The embroidery uses traditional floss and techniques mixed with lights and sounds generated by the onboard software. The amount of light sensed by the sensor changes the speed and pitch of the lights and sounds generated. Move your shadow or hand over it to experience the changes.”
If you want to create a simpler electronic embroidery of your own, Stern has posted a video tutorial at Craft zine: “Using LEDs and conducive thread, you’ll be able to create your own embroidery of a frog with light-up fireflies.” On her web site, Stern has posted a set of photo-based directions and list of supplies and suppliers – including where to find the conductive thread!
O’Reilly has a new book, Fashioning Technology, by Syuzi Pakhchyan that gives a deeper exploration of the current melding of technology and textiles. “With this new palette of materials, we can now create objects infused with magical and mysterious qualities. The first book of its kind, Fashioning Technology is just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.” Watch a video of Pakhchyan explaining her book, her background, her inspirations and some future visions. This all goes way beyond the ipod and sneaker embedded chips!