Embroidered Circuits Require Embroidery Thread!Randy Mitchell
Embroidered Circuits Require Embroidery Thread! In the early days of smart textiles and smart clothing, wires ruled! Actual wires ran from power source to switch and on to the functional element! Wires developed stress fractures as the textile flexed. These stress fractures resulted in circuit failures. TPU “wire” was developed to correct stress fractures. The “wire” was conductive yarn surrounded by Thermoplastic PolyUrethane (TPU). This allowed flexibility of yarn and the insulation/protection of the TPU. This solution worked well as far as the circuit was concerned. Comfort was another thing, the TPU still didn’t feel like clothing. Clothing is made yarns and threads, so should smart clothing circuits!
Embroidered Circuits Require Embroidery Thread! The best embroidery threads are made with the most conductive metal, Silver! The best conductive element plated to a great yarn works! Two of best Highly Conductive Embroidery Threads are Madeira HC 40 and Madeira HC 12. These yarns are made using Shieldex yarns plated with 99% pure silver (Ag). Silver plated yarn, connected with a double twist ensures the highest conductivity and best contacts! ZSK, which produces the best embroidery machines in the world, highly recommends embroidery threads be used for embroidered circuits. The best results are achieved with 500-700 stitches/minute. The lineal resistance can be altered to meet your needs. The more conductive material present, the lower the resistance. Best results are achieved using HC top and bottom thread simultaneously.
Connection to your components can be achieved in several ways. Sewing, mechanical crimping, and conductive glue are more permanent. Removable components can be snapped into place with conductive studs. Removable Electrical Components makes for easier laundering!
The washability of the garment depends mainly on the electrical components. Removable components are best. Do not dry clean. Wash up to 30º C/86ºF without bleaching or acid agents using a laundry bag. Do not tumble dry, but line dry for best care.
Please feel free to contact us about Madeira HC 40 and Madeira HC 12 Embroidery yarns for use in your smart textile project!
V Technical Textiles, Inc.
Thank you to ZSK for the Pictures of Embroidered Circuits and Technical Advice!!!
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