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What is conductive cloth? I turned conductive fabrics into a touch input sleeve!

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

New to conductive fabrics? Curious?

Let's make use of conductive fabric to create a Universal Input Sleeve for Arduino.

I'm excited to share with you my latest project, I've put all the steps on Instructables.

This is a post about making wearable technology clothing, including touch input, it's an open-source input sleeve.

Conductive fabric, cloth, and textiles, combined with sensors have many applications. Arduino and electronics make great use of a universal input sleeve with flexibility.

This open universal input sleeve allows people to use their own circuit boards and off-the-shelf components.

To get started building your own action sleeve you can check this out

This is a touch technology sleeve. The conductive fabric is a capacitive touch input, that can control your projects.

What is conductive fabric?

A conductive fabric has metal strands woven into it, or is made from metals and conductive yarns that have a metal coating. It can conduct electricity. We use this for capacitive touch that we can register on an Arduino, or ESP32, Or Circuit Playground board, for example.

It has been used for many purposes though and not just making wearables. This includes anti-bacterial properties, thermal purposes, and emf shielding too.

They are usually lightweight, with high strength and durability. Some are not as flexible as others. Depending on the type you buy, you can get a super stretchy one, versus a very rigid one - the Oxford variety! This can suit a variety of your project needs.

Examples - Have I made this? Yes!

I've made this sleeve and I love it, here are some photos!

Mix it up

Try different conductive fabrics. We have a huge selection here at Tinker Tailor. I would love to see what you made - have you added copper colours? Different shapes that are conductive? Did you also use neoprene fabric?

Time to get making

Now it's your turn. Look through the tutorial, and choose the fabrics you want, then get prototyping. Send us your photos of your own sleeve! Don’t be shy. Buy conductive fabric, get making. Please leave a comment below.

A Conductive 15% OFF!

Thanks for getting this far - get 15% off any of our CONDUCTIVE range with code: OUIS. One per customer. WOOP!!


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