This weekend MakerFaire is happening in San Francisco! I am so excited to finally get to go after years of reading about it. MakerFaire is a super cool craft fair/creative festival that celebrates innovation and ingenuity. Anyone who has a cool idea is welcome to share it with other fair-goers.
You made a bicycle-powered sewing machine? You developed a robot that tends your garden for you? You used scrap metal to build a car? You have a spot at MakerFaire. People at MakerFaire are especially known for taking two things that don’t usually go together, combining them and making something amazing.
Like fiber arts and electronics.
E-textiles (aka soft circuits) are a really cool way to try your hand at electronics and create some amazing projects.
The basic idea is that you use conductive thread (nylon thread, coated in a conductive metal) instead of wires to connect your electronic components (like leds, batteries, sensors and tiny computers).
You could go super simple, and make a pair of texting gloves. The conductive thread woven through the fingertips allows you to use a touchscreen without removing your gloves. (Handy in the Great White North in February.)
Teknika Gloves by Laura Nelkin
Or you could get your embroidery on, and make a little sampler, including LEDs, a battery and an on/off switch.
Or, if you have more tech experience than I do, you could get your hands on a LilyPad Arduino. It’s a tiny computer that you can plug into your computer, program, and use to make LEDs blink in cool patterns.