Clothing, Fashion, Manufacturing, Wearable Technology

Ohio State’s Woven Circuitry Could Lead To New Kinds Of Wearables

Ohio State Functional Textile e-textile fabric circuit wearable project jacquard

One of the biggest obstacles wearable technology faces is integration. Clothes are soft, stretchy, malleable, and (for the most part) washable, while the circuity required for wearables is none of those things. The circuitry needed to make a wearable device work is rigid, bulky, and definitely not washable. Announced last year, Google’s Project Jacquard is a step towards solving this dilemma with loom-friendly fabric touch-surfaces, but you still would need traditional circuity to make it all work. It looks like Ohio State University might have a solution for that though. They have been hard at work for the past several years developing a fabric that can be sewn into custom circuits.  Dubbed a functional textile (or e-textile), the thread they have created is .1mm thick and contains 7 twisted filaments made of copper and pure silver. Because it has superb conductive qualities and can be sewn into practically any shape, researchers view the material as a viable replacement for traditional circuitry. The material’s fine width means incredibly complex designs can be created.  

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