These 2 creations are utilized using 2 different techniques. The 2 techniques explored are felting and crochet. My Intention with this project was to create something possible and futuristic. For the back pack light, I’m constantly looking for things in my bag and wanted to create a perfectly fitted insert. The button used to activate the light is crocheted with conductive thread. It is placed at the top of the bag where you naturally apply pressure when holding the opening of your bag. The second construct evolved from the ideation of what the most comfortable pants would look like. I discerned they would be electronic and could be used as a single piece of clothing that came all the way up to your collarbone.
In my first draft of brainstorming, I didn’t really veer from my original ideation. My process was mostly iterating on my original design and continuing with the exploration of the 2 techniques felting and crocheting with conductive thread.
While crocheting the switch (button) that activates the LED light, I had to reconfigure the map of conductive thread. The distance from the battery to the LED was to extreme. Initially I could get the LED’s to turn on, but they were very dim and would not stay lit. I also doubled the batteries for each circuit. Each product had 2 -3 volt batteries attached for power. This was the case for both projects. Incorporating an area of felting was a much more stable means of conduction for the 2nd project. I created a thick neat line of felting to close the circuit to initiate the LED on the pants.
If able to revisit this project at a later date I would like to expand on the fabric light and incorporate a lily pad. Making the product a little larger and brighter. Expanding on the brightness would increase visibility closer to the bottom of the backpack.. Connecting it to an outer design on the bag could be used for communication or sensing something harmful. Another variation could also be making the light as a matrix for images, messages. Through out this project I expanded on my use of e-textile buttons. This build allowed me to amplify my knowledge of trouble shooting with conductive thread. For example I discovered if I made circuits shorter or rethreaded some areas of the crocheted button I was able to redress the issue of closing the circuit more effectively. There are a vast amount of applications these fabric power switches could be applied to. They are definitely more effective when wieght and flexibility are the priority.