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So here is my final =) A few pictures of the process and final product… I learned a lot while doing it, and hopefully you will too.

So I started with the idea.. A jacket the would have two states, one patterned and one not. I wanted to accomplish this with the use of thermochromic inks, conductive thread, batteries, and magnets, I wanted the jacket to be solid when open, and show a pattern when closed (closes circuit).

Original drawing of jacket

The first step was selecting the fabric, inks, and trying them out. With the trail swatches everything when smoothly: the inks worked well, when heated they disappeared, and then re-appeared.

However, while doing the final jacket, things did not go quite as smoothly =) There were a few problems I would like to address… Mainly the inks seem to have not worked well with the fabric, even after working well on the swatches. I ended up getting odd results, the inks turned green after a few hours… I am assuming it is an issue regarding the curing temperature / method (heat press at 130 C for 3 minutes). For the samples I did not cure the inks as per the manufacturers specs, so they only worked for a couple days and eventually faded…

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So in conclusion I will have to say this is still a work in progress. Hopefully I will be able to find a way to make the inks work with this fabric, after contacting the ink vendors. I will keep you posted. If not, I will have to explore what other fabrics will be a better choice for these inks.

Here is an image of the plan:

Basically, the jackets starts all black and open.
When you close it with a magnet, it closes the circuit with a Reed Switch, making parts change color to purple.

I am still waiting for the inks to come in the mail, but once they are here there will be more pictures of the actual project. =)

And I finally got the ink to go clear without burning the fabric, it worked best with a 6 Volt battery at 500 mA and no resistor.

Here is a video:

Thermochromic Display from chouza on Vimeo.

Here are three examples of what could be done with these inks: =)

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Here are two videos of max MSP working on my computer, in one i am zooming in and out of a image with a pressure sensor, and the other one just reading the values of the analog pins.

Zooming from chouza on Vimeo.

Analog Sensor from chouza on Vimeo.

My favorite artist of the moment is Tim Walker, a photographer. I wasn’t sure if these needed to be interactive artists, and I am not sure that he is, but he is still pretty amazing. I love how he creates little elaborate worlds in every photo, if you see videos of him shooting it is kind of amazing. There is such an attention to detail and mood, every picture is so intricate it really sucks you in for a while. He has also set up really interesting exhibits that really draw the audience in to his crazy word, and must have been really amazing to see. Here are a few pictures:

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For this project, I looked at Fractals which I am obsessed with, especially lighting and electrical treeing. So I wanted a skirt that somehow mimic lighting. The skirt starts out really long on the back, and short in the front… And then when something triggers it, the front goes down kind quick like lightning. Also the skirt starts out really dark, black light the night sky, and when it goes down, it also changes color somewhat, and a bright purple/silver/gold shows through in spots.

So the idea is that either with a really loud noise, or if you are in a really dark room, or some other trigger, you heat up the Shape Memory Alloy wire in the skirt, which makes it un-coil. which it makes the skirt shoot down. Also while the wire is heated, it will heat up the fabric on top, and the thermochromic ink will become transparent, showing the color underneath. This wiring can be made to mimic fractal patterns, so that the color shows through in an interesting pattern.

I hope this wasnt too confusing and odd, here is the moodboard to clear it up a little (I hope)

This is the first Switch Circuit, when you close the circuit, the LED blinks…

Arduino LED Switch from chouza on Vimeo.

And now for the second one, when you press the fuzzy black square, the light slowly turns on and becomes brighter.

Pressure Arduino Circuit from chouza on Vimeo.

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And here is the code for the pressure sensor:

Analog Input- Pressure sensor to turn on LED.
Created by David Cuartielles
Modified 16 Jun 2009 By Tom Igoe
Modified 5 March 2011 By Ximena Chouza

int sensorPin = 0;    // select the input pin for the potentiometerint
ledPin = 11;     // select the pin for the LED
int sensorValue = 0;  // variable to store the value coming from the sensor

void setup() {
// declare the ledPin as an OUTPUT:
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
// read the value from the sensor:
sensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);
// turn the ledPin on
analogWrite(ledPin, sensorValue);

This is my fabric circuit:


Crinkled Polyester Fabric

Conductive Thread

Resistive Thred

2 Dim White LEDs

3V battery

Battery Holder:

Conductive Fabric



This circuit is pretty simple as well. You slide a needle up and down the slider, and the LED changes brightness. And when your hand goes over the area with all the little string poking out, they touch, close the circuit, and a second LED turns on… Here are some pictures of the circuit, and the original drawing to it:

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And here is a video:

<p><a href=”″>Fabric Circuit</a> from <a href=”″>chouza</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Here is the first circuit, the paper one:



Black and Blue Vinyl Electrical Tape

Conductive Thread

2 Red LEDs

Copper Conductive Tape

3 Magnets


This circuit is pretty simple. When you press the black and silver button, the first LED turns on. Then when you close the switch by moving the magnet from one place to another, the other LED turns on.  Here are some pictures of the circuit, and the original drawing to it:

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And here is a video:

<p><a href=”″>Untitled</a&gt; from <a href=”″>chouza</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Nested Polyhedrons:

<p><a href=”″>Nested Polyhedrons</a> from <a href=”″>chouza</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Printed Acetate


Double-sided Tape

Conductive Fabric

3v Battery



Turned Off

Turned On



And here is the paper circuit with LEDs in parallel and pressure sensors:


Electrical Tape

3V battery


Conductive Thread


Conductive Fabric


Here is a video of it working =)

<p><a href=”″>Pressure Sensor</a> from <a href=”″>chouza</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>