LilyPad Basics: E-Sewing
What Is LilyPad?
The LilyPad system is a set of sewable electronic pieces designed to help you build soft, sewable, interactive e-textile projects. Using LilyPad pieces is a great way to experiment with electronics through the lens of crafting. Each LilyPad piece has large conductive sew tabs for easy sewing and a rounded shape so as not to snag fabric or cut thread.
The LilyPad system was designed by Leah Buechley while pursuing her Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder. The commercial version of the kit, which launched in 2007, was collaboratively designed by Leah and SparkFun Electronics. You can learn more about LilyPad at SparkFun.com/LilyPad.
For more LilyPad tutorials check out our E-Textiles category
To browse LilyPad products visit the LilyPad section of the SparkFun catalog
Some LilyPad pieces come in a ProtoSnap configuration, which means all of the individual components – such as LEDs, battery holder, switches, buttons, etc. – are attached to one another in a single functioning circuit board. This allows you to easily program your circuit to do what you want before embedding it in your project. ProtoSnap boards are designed to be easily snapped apart into individual pieces when you’re ready to begin creating LilyPad projects.
This is slightly different than LilyPad products that come in a panel configuration. The LilyPad LEDs are attached together, but not in a functional circuit. You will need to snap them apart before sewing into a circuit.