Technique Exploration – Weaving

Loom Introduction

Weaving is an ancient technique that we continue to use today with technological advancements. Many of our textiles are woven on industrial looms allowing for the mass manufacture of cheap clothing. Jacquard looms were also an early development in computer science, allowing for “(t)he ability to store and automatically reproduce complex operations…”. Jacquard Loom

Step-­by-­step ‘how to’

Beginner’s Guide to Weaving

Resources in the GTA and OCAD 

OCAD’s Fibre Studio has a number of hand and floor looms available to students taking certain courses or with permission from the Head Fibre Technician Laurie Wassink; as was my case. Looms can be bought second hand fairly easily on sites like Kijiji but can get quite expensive with one-floor loom going for $750. An expensive investment unless one is planning on many projects. Another option is to join a Textile Co-op, similar to a Maker Space – and enjoy more space and equipment than most could afford on their own. Lastly one can try building their own loom to use.

Examples of this technique in use

While most weaving examples around the internet are for traditional weaving, the site “Get What You Want” demonstrates a few examples of how weaving can be incorporated into electronics

Electrical Examples

Technique in Three Different Ways

Previous to this experiment I had never used a loom to create a project though I had a chance to try using one around ten years ago and I still remember how enjoyable I found it. While I had no experience in using a loom the Fibre Studio faculty and students were kind enough to help me learn the basic skills. However, I did find myself limited by my lack of knowledge which can be remedied in the future with further exploration and study in weaving and other textile construction techniques.


Setting up the loom

  1. Woven Fibre Optic Filaments

For my first experiment, I wanted to use fiber optic filaments to create my own fabric. Fibre optic fabric that is available for purchase is expensive and comes in very limited sizes so I was curious to see what future potential there was for creating my own. I ordered the filament from Amazon though the limited size and expense means I will look for an alternative supplier in the future. One major factor was that the warp was already set up with a black yarn. To set up the warp with fiber optic filament would require an extensive period of time and a higher skill level. So in this case only the weft was fiber optic filament. As a first experiment I’m satisfied with this technique and will explore it again. Changes will be using thicker filaments, refining the filament sanding process and learning how to set up the warp.


Loom with fiber optic filament


Fiber optic filament


Woven fiber optic filament

2. Conductive Thread Circuit

The second experiment was to try and incorporate a circuit into a textile. I speculated on a future where we can interchange electronics on our wearables due to pre-made circuits on the clothing. This would make wearable technology more accessible for those that cannot sew. There are other ways pre-made circuits could be achieved but I choose to focus on the potential of weaving them in. I used conductive thread and made a bridge switch


Testing the circuit



Unfinished threads on back

3. Silicone Wire Circuit

My final experiment was to create another circuit but using silicone wire instead of conductive thread.

Completed Sample


Parts List

Part Number Part Description Quantity Supplier Cost
N.A. Red Yarn 1 OCAD U Fibre Studio $0.00
N.A. Grey Yarn 1 OCAD U Fibre Studio $0.00
N.A. Cream Yarn 1 OCAD U Fibre Studio $0.00
N.A. Plastruct FOP-10 Fibre Optics .010 1 Amazon $15.43
LILYB-008822 CR2032 Battery Holder 2 Creatron Inc. $2.35 x 2 = $4.70
BATTG-203200 CR2032 Coin Cell Battery 2 Creatron Inc. $1.65 x 2 = $3.30
LILYP – 010811 White LED 2 Creatron Inc. $1.70 x 2 = $3.40
FLORT-000603 Conductive thread – 30ft. 1 Creatron Inc. $4.85
WIRSI-002003 #30 Silicone Wire 1 Creatron Inc. $1.80

Wearing Light – Augmented Voguing Shirt

Born from the queer and predominantly black youth in Harlem, ballroom has grown to an international scene and still serves as a platform for all types of creativity. Participants compete at balls where they try and win different categories and make a name for themselves. The best known of these categories is performance (vogueing) which has found mainstream recognition with dancers touring with Rihanna and FKA Twigs.

The most common form of vogue now is vogue fem which consists of “…Dramatics(which emphasizes stunts, tricks, and speed) to Soft (which emphasizes a graceful, beautiful, easy flow and flow continuations between the five elements)” Voguing

Catwalk: Catwalking is an exaggerated feminine walk where the legs are crossed over each other, the hips are thrust from side to side, and the hands are thrown forward in opposition to the legs.

Hands: In performance the hands of the performer should tell a story. Often this is the component of performing used to throw shade. For example miming an expression of horror at the way the opponents face looks.

Floorwork: This component demonstrates the competitors sensuality as they roll, twist, and otherwise move on the ground in such a way as to capture the attention of the judges.

Spins and Dips: This is the showiest component of vogue. These are the turns on beat, and the drops to the floor. A spin or dip is only done correctly when it executed with the climax happening on the beat.

House of Nuance

For this piece I wanted to use a noise reactive inverter to respond to the harsh vogue beats and to arrange the EL wire to create a stylized feminine curve that voguers strive for.

Parts List

Part Number Part Description Quantity Supplier Cost
ELWRE-050802 EL WIRE – RED 1 Creatron Inc. $13.99
BATTH-411109 AA X 4 CELL BATTERY ENCLOSURE 2 Creatron Inc. $1.95 x 2 = $3.90
COPER-010561 COPPER TAPE – 5MM (50FT.) 1 Creatron Inc. $5.50
TOOCU-151826 26AWG PROFESSIONAL WIRE STRIPPER 1 Creatron Inc. $12.80
TOOCU-008794 4″ DIAGONAL CUTTER 1 Creatron Inc. $4.00
5mm Black Heat Shrink 1 Creatron Inc. Unknown
N.A. Invisible Thread 1 Creatron Inc. $3.38
N.A. Black Shirt 1 American Apparel/previously owned $0.00

Circuit Diagrams

Circuit Illustrations

An illustration of the circuit layout

This piece was not as well realized as I would hope but I gained experience sewing with clear thread and working on a mannequin. Future iterations would involve drafting a specific pattern, ordering sewable EL wire and diffusing the light through fabric choices.

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Social Switches – Justice Stacey

Material & Parts List

Part Number Part Description Quantity Supplier
SPKBZ-221005 DC Buzzer 1 Creatron Inc.
LILYP-010811 LilyPad – LED – White

Diode forward voltage – 2

Diode forward current (mA) – 30

2 Creatron Inc.
LILYP-010899 LilyTiny 1 Creatron Inc.
LILYB-008822 CR2032 Battery Holder 2 Creatron Inc.
BATTG-203200 CR2032 Coin Cell Battery 2 Creatron Inc.
FLORT-000603 Conductive thread – 35ft. 1 Creatron Inc.
RESIS-500025 1/4W 5% RESISTOR (10 PACK) 100 ohm 1 Creatron Inc.
RESIS-500025 1/4W 5% RESISTOR (10 PACK) 39 ohm 1 Creatron Inc.
N.A. Jean button up shirt 1 Gap
N.A. Felt (red & gray) 1 Michaels
N.A. Velcro 1 Fabricland

Circuit Diagrams

Circuit Illustrations



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Beautiful Circuits – Justice Stacey

“Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say” Rosemary Crossley

In a world of spoken word, how do we create alternative non-verbal communication methods? Individuals may be temporarily or permanently non-verbal and may struggle to express their needs, wants, and ideas. Also – while “no fully credible census of Deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing people has ever been conducted in Canada.” – there are an estimated 357,000 culturally Deaf Canadians and 3.21 million hard of hearing Canadians. Statistics on Deaf CanadiansWhile sign language is one alternative communication solution not everyone may have the ability to learn it.

Another important building block of our communication is body language, making up to “between 50-80% of all human communications”. Body Language – Business Balls It can subtly convey what we can’t always read in words. However, for individuals on the autism spectrum these signs can be hard to read. Even outside of this it can be hard to catch these small details. There is significant research exists that can help to translate this body language if one needs help and assistance.

My piece asks what if our clothing and accessories communicated with us? What if clothing accentuated our body language to allow for clear understanding of it? Starting with basic symbolic representations of emotions, more can be added on to allow a depth of nuanced communication. Further work would have to be done to make the decision to try and make this universally understandable or if there should be different culturally responsive products.


Material & Parts List

Part Number Part Description Quantity Supplier
LEDGE-000355 5mm LED – Blue 2 Creatron Inc.
LEDGE-000340 5mm LED – Yellow 2 Creatron Inc.
BATTG-203200 CR2032 Coin Cell Battery 2 Creatron Inc.
LILYB-008822 CR2032 Battery Holder 2 Creatron Inc.
FLORT-000603 Conductive thread – 35ft. 1 Creatron Inc.
RESIS-500025 1/4W 5% RESISTOR (10 PACK) 150 ohm 1 Creatron Inc.
RESIS-500025 1/4W 5% RESISTOR (10 PACK) 220 ohm 1 Creatron Inc.
N.A. Jean button up shirt 1 Gap
N.A. Felt Squares 1 OCAD Fibre Studio
N.A. Metal Snaps 8 Michaels

Circuit Diagrams

Blue – Sad

Yellow – Happy

Note: the resistors used in the final were bought at 220 ohms before I simplified the circuit.

Circuit Illustration

Circuit Illustration


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