CHI • Human Factors in Computing Systems
A Creative Framework for Hand Embroidered Liquid Crystal Textile Displays
Conductive thread is a common material in e-textile toolkits that allows practitioners to create connections between electronic components sewn on fabric. When powered, conductive threads are used as resistive heaters to activate thermochromic dyes or pigments on textiles to create interactive, aesthetic, and ambient textile displays. In this work, we introduce Embr, a creative framework for supporting hand-embroidered liquid crystal textile displays (LCTDs). This framework includes a characterization of conductive embroidery stitches, an expanded repertoire of thermal formgiving techniques, and a thread modeling tool used to simulate mechanical, thermal, and electrical behaviors of LCTDs. Through exemplar artifacts, we annotate a morphological design space of LCTDs and discuss the tensions and opportunities of satisfying the wider range of electrical, craft, cultural, aesthetic, and functional concerns inherent to e-textile practices.
Paper available April 30, 2022.