Sewing with Conductive Thread

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View the updated tutorial: LilyPad Basics: E-Sewing

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Contributors: Dia
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What is Conductive Thread?

Conductive Thread Close Up

Conductive thread can carry current the same way that wires can, which means it can be used to create a circuit. This allows the user to sew a circuit together, creating flexible circuits that require no soldering. In some textile-based projects, this is the most practical tool to maintain the hang of the fabric. Educationally, it's a very safe and unintimidating way to learn how to use embedded electronics.

SparkFun currently sells silver and stainless steel threads. Beyond our selection of conductive threads, there exists a staggering number of conductive materials. If it's electrically conductive (you can check this with a multimeter), and you can sew with it (this includes hand and machine, sewing and embroidery, crocheting, knitting, all sorts of things, really), I encourage you to consider it a conductive thread. Some traditional embroidery threads have enough metal content to be conductive, and some wires are fine enough to sew with. If you keep an open mind (and a multimeter close at hand!), quite a few materials can find new life in your projects!