Course Objectives.

Students are expected, by the end of the course, to gain the following:

  1. Knowledge of traditional textile arts such as felting, sewing and embroidery.
  2. Proficiency in integrating circuitry and conductive materials to different types of fabrics.
  3. A primary understanding of new methods of fabrication such as 3D printing and laser cutting.

Class Website:

Required Textbooks:

  • Make: Wearable Electronics (1st edition) by Kate Hartman

Required Reading: We will be discussing the following excerpts and short works of literature and poetry:

Suggested Readings:

  • Textiles (11th Ed) by Sara Kadolph
  • The Primary Structures of Fabric by Irene Emery
  • Making Things Talk (2nd Ed) by Tom Igoe
  • Rhino Manual
  • The White Porch” by Cathy Song
  • Excerpts from the Iliad by Homer (Menelaus is wounded and Helen weaving the fall of Troy)
  • “God’s Own Country” and “Kochu Thomban” from The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Grading and Assignments:

Grading is based on successful completion of all assignments, class participation and attendance.

  1. Assignments and Lab Exercises (40%)
  2. Student Presentations (20%)
  3. Final Project (30%)
  4. Class Participation and Attendance. (10%)


Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Greater than two unexcused absences warrant a fail. Tardiness counts as 1/3rd of an unexcused absence.

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-2:30 pm in room 937.

Week 1

8/31 Introduction to course. Review of syllabus.

9/1 Introduction to fibers, felting and yarn-making. A brief history of fabric technology. Introduction/review of basics of electricity.

9/2 Getting comfortable with the multimeter. Felting fabric. Creating a circuit.

Week 2

9/6 Yarns and Threads.

9/8 More circuits. Introduction to hand sewing and embroidery with conductive yarns and threads.

9/9 Hand sewing and embroidery basics. Simple circuits on fabric.

Week 3

9/13 Weaving as storytelling and as precursor of modern technology. Introduction to Machine Sewing with Marcela Godoy.

9/15-9/16 – MID-AUTUMN BREAK

9/18 Student Presentations (Group 1)

Week 4

9/20 Basic weaving. Warp and weft.

9/22 Introduction to Illustrator.

9/23 Laser cutting hand looms and weaving a simple fabric.

Week 5

9/27 Lecture: Introduction to Machine sewing. Machine Sewing Continued.

9/29 Field Trip 1

9/30 Student Presentations (Group 2)

10/3-10/8 – FALL BREAK

Week 6

10/9 Finishing textiles. Fusibles, Vinyl, Computer-assisted embroidery, and dyes.

10/11 Synthetic materials. Conductive fabrics. Fabric sensors.

10/13 Field Trip 2. Work on Sight fabrics.

10/14 Work on Sight fabrics.

Week 7

10/18 Work on Sight Fabrics

10/20 Sight Fabrics Due. Prepare to Present.

10/21 Sight Fabrics Presentations Part 2.

Week 8

10/25 Integrating textiles with microcontrollers.

10/27 Working with microcontrollers

10/28 Student Presentations (Group 3)

Week 9

11/1Draping cloth over 3 dimensional objects to make sewing patterns. Making 3D items from patterns.

11/3 3D Modeling.

11/4 Work on Touch fabrics.

Week 10

11/8 Work on Touch fabrics.

11/10 Present Touch Fabrics

11/11 Present Touch Fabrics

Week 11

11/15 Designing wearables.

11/17 Making multiple microcontrollers speak with each other.

11/18 Microcontroller lab.

Week 12

11/22 Quiz Show


Week 13

11/29 Student Presentations (Group 4)

12/1 Networked Fabrics Concepts Part 1.

12/2 Networked Fabrics Concepts Part 2.

12/3 Optional Field Trip to Fabric Market

Week 14-15

12/6 One on one meetings Part 1. Work on final projects.

12/8 One on one meetings Part 2. Work on final projects.Lab:

12/9 Present Final Projects!

12/12 Student Presentations (Group 5)

12/13 Last minute changes before the show!