Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 133–150 | Cite as

Fabric PCBs, electronic sequins, and socket buttons: techniques for e-textile craft

Original Article


The blossoming research field of electronic textiles (or e-textiles) seeks to integrate ubiquitous electronic and computational elements into fabric. This paper concerns one of the most challenging aspects of the design and construction of e-textile prototypes: namely, engineering the attachment of traditional hardware components to textiles. We present three new techniques for attaching off-the-shelf electrical hardware to e-textiles: (a) the design of fabric PCBs or iron-on circuits to attach electronics directly to a fabric substrate; (b) the use of electronic sequins to create wearable displays and other artifacts; and (c) the use of socket buttons to facilitate connecting pluggable devices to textiles. In this work we have focused on using easily obtained materials and developing user-friendly techniques; our aim is to develop methods that will make e-textile technology available to crafters, students, and hobbyists. This paper describes the techniques and employs them as a springboard for a wider-ranging discussion of “e-textile craft”.


Electronic textiles E-textiles Fabric PCBs Iron-on circuits Electronic sequins Socket buttons Do-it-yourself E-textile craft 



Thanks to Nwanua Elumeze, Mark Gross, Colby Smith, Camille Dodson and Sue Hendrix for their advice, contributions and conversation. This work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (awards no. EIA-0326054 and REC0125363).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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