Electronic Textiles

Knitted Antenna research project

project page :http://www.xxx-clairewilliams-xxx.com/antennas/

From november 2014 to october 2015 i am working on an artistic research project for a residency program at the TAMAT in Tournai, Belgium.

Technical Documentation:

 

1cw_photo_net

The Shipibo create their embroidery while chanting a song which is directly stitched onto a textile. In this way, they embed a musical score in a pattern. Each chant is then read and reinterpreted by a shaman in healing rituals. In the same way the Shipibo use their embroidery to transmit energy by following a specific structure, how can a textile structure or pattern capture surrounding data? In this project, antennas are made using traditional textile techniques. They detect and reveal electro magnetic fields which signal is translated into sound. These inaudible sounds are amplified using an electronic device. The sound is then transmitted to a computer and translated into a knitted spectrogram on a hacked knitting machine.

Inspiration for this project started when i got interested with crystal radio systems which only rely on using minimal electronic components and household items. The antennas sense electromagnetic field emissions which come from motors, electronic devises, am radio bands, neon’s etc… They are invisible and inaudible but an abundant  material present in our daily lives.

emrRadio_transmition_diagram onde

Technical research:

dossiercw.pdf_07

Antenna’s come in various forms and sizes adapted for different goals. Most antennas are basically a coil made of copper spool. This allowing an electro magnetic field to create itself. I started to try experiment different knitting techniques  to create knitted coils. I also used some embroidery to test fractal antennas systems where the fractal pattern allows to receive a wider frequency range using less space.

 Different variations and parameters were tested such as:

– gauge

– tension

– different type of structures (rib, tubular, slip, stocking..etc.)

– different type of patterns

Yarn :

-Enamelled copper magnet wire (0.3 and 0.2) from https://www.wires.co.uk/acatalog/cu_enam.html

-Karl Grimm copper thread High Flex 3981 7×1

-wool, cotton, acrylic ..

Fractal embroidery technique used by the Kutch tribe in India:

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                                                              Fractal antenna

fractal_antenna_net

Antenna made using a fractal pattern and embroidery.

antennareserach2net

ANTENNA RESEARCHNETantennes recherche3net

 US512340_Tesla_COIL_FOR_ELECTRO-MAGNETS_page1_800x1200 speech  bbb4_vlf_receiver

Very Low Frequency’s (VLF) are frequency’s that come from the earth magnetic activity BasketWeaving1After a lot of electronic experiments i made a very high gain amplifier from Nicolas Collins Hand Made electronic Music book which gave the best results. The control unit connected to the antennas amplifies the EM signal and translates it into sound.

 antenna_amp_net

Ressources:

http://www.vlf.it/

PDF link to Hand Made electronic Music http://www.nicolascollins.com/texts/originalhackingmanual.pdf

http://apo33.org/electropix4/?p=265 (portable EM detector)

http://www.techlib.com/electronics/vlfwhistle.htm

http://www.instructables.com/id/EMF-Detector-Kit/

http://portal.groupkos.com/index.php?title=Electromagnetic_Coils

http://www.essentialtech.co.nz/content/crystal_sets

http://phys.org/news/2014-02-fractal-wire-patterns-stretchability-electronic.html

http://www.gizmag.com/scavenging-ambient-electromagnetic-energy/19163/

Brother KE 100 motor drive hack to be controlled by a computer documentation:

http://knit.dev.isib.be/

Textile Speakers

BAFFLE_BRODE

Research on different techniques to create speakers using textile techniques. The idea is to create a coil with fabric, cotton thread, enamelled copper wire, a magnet, an amplifier and external sound input (phone, mp3..)

This research was inspired by Hannah Peter Wilson experiments with fabric speakers http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2936

Some experiments were made with the couching embroidery technique, inspired by the embroidery patterns of the Barmer tribe (Rajastan – India) who use gold threads embroidery techniques.

IMG_2595           IMG_2598

FullSizeRender(7)

Speakers  made with a coil basket weaving technique.

Yarn: Raphia, enamelled copper (1.25 mm).

wrkshp15

Experiments with a coil crochet technique blending wool and cooper thread.

Yarn: wool & soft copper wire from Karl Grimm (not Enamelled) ref: High Flex 3981 7×1

broderie_net

Amplifier:

Circuit from Nicolas Collins “handmade electronic music” book.

I used this amplifier which gave very good results because it has a very high gain.

amplifier

I also tested with a class T Lepai LP2020-A amplifier that Jesse Seay used in her knitted speaker tutorial explained here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Hard-Drive-Magnet-Speakers/?ALLSTEPS#step4  which works also very well , you can adjust bass and tremble. Be careful that the copper doesn’t heat up too much!

Tips:

  • The lighter your fabric is the louder your speaker will be.
  • It’s best to test with a song which has strong bass
  • The bigger your magnet is the louder the sound will be

More pics:

http://www.xxx-clairewilliams-xxx.com/electro_textiles/

Sources:

http://www.nicolascollins.com/texts/originalhackingmanual.pdf

http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2936

http://v2.nl/lab/projects/betaknit-research (knitted speakers)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hard-Drive-Magnet-Speakers

http://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Speakers-1/

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3 Responses to “Electronic Textiles”

  1. HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT Says:

    […] Some experiments made with the couching embroidery technique and a coil basket weaving technique: >> https://xxxclairewilliamsxxx.wordpress.com/electronic-textiles/#Textile […]

  2. HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT Says:

    […] Some experiments made by Claire Williams with the couching embroidery technique and a coil basket weaving technique: >> https://xxxclairewilliamsxxx.wordpress.com/electronic-textiles/#Textile […]

  3. Fabric speaker – mauimaus Says:

    […] Electronic Textiles […]

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