Colored Conductive Fabric

Since it's been a slow past few weeks and I've had a bit of difficulty finding interesting wearables related content, for the next few days I'm going to share a few experiments that I've personally been working on.

First topic — dyeing conductive fabric.

Last night I dyed small swatches of conductive fabric and it turned out quite lovely. I used the SOFT&SAFE™ Shielding Fabric which is made with a unique blend of natural materials: 70% bamboo fiber and 30% silver. The fabric itself is very conductive (<1 ohm per sq.) and dyeing it didn't seem to affect the conductivity (at least not noticeably).

Colored Conductive Fabric

The silver conductive fibers did not take to the dye so the fabric has a bit of a sheen to it.

Personally I'm quite thrilled to be able to have a conductive fabric that is highly conductive and not metal-plated. Yay! Colored conductive fabric! I see lots of potential here...

Hope you find this useful! If you choose to dye your own fabric, please share!

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Comment by Simon de Bakker on June 29, 2010 at 12:50am
Aha, so there had to be a catch ;-)
Comment by Syuzi on June 28, 2010 at 1:49pm
ok so here's the scoop regarding the Eeontex. They can coat any fabric but the coating gives it a dark color. This is from their PDF:

"Almost all fabrics - woven, knitted, and nonwoven - and textured and spun yarns - synthetic or natural - can be coated using the aqueous process.

While imparting electrical conductivity and a dark color to the substrates, the coating process barely affects the strength, drape, flexibility, and porosity of the starting substrates. Fabrics are tailor-made for desired resistance, thickness, porosity, surface area, flame resistance, etc. "
Comment by Simon de Bakker on June 26, 2010 at 12:39pm
The trick is they can coat any fabric for you (at least so I was told). So you probably can send them a pre-dyed woven or non-woven. As it is on on-demand basis it might be quite costly?
Comment by Syuzi on June 25, 2010 at 7:35pm
I actually ordered EeonTex fabric for my workshops this summer. unfortunately I don't think they're fabric is dyable or available in any other color other then the grey/black color. What's nice about the fabric above is that it NOT coated at all — it's a woven fabric (you can wave the conductive fibers with any other fibers).
Comment by Simon de Bakker on June 24, 2010 at 1:26am
You are looking for electrically conductive polymer coated fabrics. A mouth full but it boils down to non metal plated conductive fabric ;-) Have a look at companies like eeonyx: Basically, when you provide them with a sheet of textile they coat it for you. They did tell me they do smaller batches as well and are interested in innovative uses. They should be able to provide you with some samples.

I believe they can provide you with samples.
Comment by Melissa Coleman on June 24, 2010 at 12:29am
Wow, this is exciting :)

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