Here we show the first part of the process of making a simple wearable electronic display in a t-shirt using our carbon nanotube yarn. We use a standard sewing machine to stitch several long filaments of our yarn into the shirt; we plan to eventually connect these to a battery, an Arduino, and some LEDs.
The CNT yarn is strong enough and flexible enough to be run through the sewing machine without being damaged, but it is somewhat less flexible, and much less stretchable, than cotton yarn; as a result we did have some trouble, as you can see in this video. In the end, the carbon nanotube yarn worked well when it was fed from the bottom bobbin. It worked well when fed from the top bobbin and stitched into thick fabric, but not so well with the more elastic t-shirt fabric.
Complications aside, this video demonstrates the potential of our carbon nanotube fibers and yarns for use in e-textiles. It is possible that with more time and knowledge we may have been able to troubleshoot the problem…if you are a wearable electronics maker, why not get some of our yarn and see if you are able to make it work? 🙂
Update: check out our video of the completed shirt here!