Crafting Research Products through Digital Machine Embroidery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Wearables combine practical and conceptual challenges related to electronics, clothing and interaction design. Research through design in this area is commonly done iteratively through prototypes of increasing levels of fidelity, often relying on manual fabrication. However, manual fabrication presents challenges when comparing prototypes due to their varying levels of realization and the inaccuracy of reproductions. We discuss how using digital machine embroidery, combined with chemical embroidery technique, supports fabricating consistent high-fidelity prototypes for soft wearables in the form of research products. Our approach involves creating the textile substrate together with integrating and embedding electronic components through a unified process whilst keeping high control over alterations between prototypes. We illustrate this approach through the design process of the Smart Sock, a sensorized sock for rehabilitation. We detail the challenges behind our process and reflect on the opportunities emerging from using digital machine and chemical embroidery techniques combined to craft research products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems '20: DIS'20
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369749
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
EventACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems '20: DIS'20 - Netherlands, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202020 Jul 2020
Conference number: DIS'20


ConferenceACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems '20
Abbreviated titleDIS '20

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  • Digital fabrication
  • Digital machine embroidery
  • E-textiles
  • Research products
  • Soft wearables
  • Textile sensors


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