2020 eTextile Swatch Exchange

2020 eTextile Swatch Exchange

The E-Textile Summercamp‘s Swatchbook Exchange is a platform for sharing physical work samples in the field of electronic textiles. The exchange wishes to emphasize the importance of physicality and quality workmanship in an increasingly digital world.


Everybody who has attended the E-Textile Summercamp at least one time is allowed to take part in this exchange. Calls for participation are generally published 2 months before the summercamp. Individuals and collaborative efforts participate in the exchange by submitting a unique swatch design of their own, and in turn receive a compiled collection of everybody else’s swatches. This means that everybody participating needs to make as many multiples of their swatch as the total number of participants. Participants in the Swatch Exchange have diverse links to the e-textile community, including academic researchers, textile designers, industrial designers, artists, electrical engineers and enthusiastic makers.

There are no guidelines defining what these samples could or should be, only that they relate to the field of E-Textiles. Preferably each swatch should be able to mount on a 13x16cm area, and while flat swatches lend themselves well to the book format, 3D swatches are also welcome.


It was an honor to be part of this amazing project. I contributed with Finger Bend.


Inspired by 5 year old friend Lawrie, in the wild mountains of Central Portugal, WILLPOWER created a motion reactive light.
The lights turn on when placing hand in front of the sensor.
Different colors are triggered based on the distance.
The Lawrie Light is mobile.
It can be carried around, placed in different locations, hung, used as a flash light, for camping, partying, setting the vibe…

In creation with Lawrie (above)


VCO with Bela

Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Bela

I’m created this VCO using Bela (bela.io) and following their C++ Real-Time Audio course. This is for lecture 6. I’m learning about this microcontroller which is attached to a BeegleBone computer. it’s as small as a microcontroller, amazing. It’s fun to learn about these tech tools. I’ve made instruments in the past using Arduino, Teensy, openFrameworks (C++), and MIDI. The Bela course is teaching me about optimizing real-time audio as their microcontroller is 10x times faster then MIDI…ideal for live performances. I’m taking the time to learn to see how I want to build my instrument… a lot of noise in this video, but I would like to create harmonious sounds… The potentiometers use a voltage divider to send voltage to Bela, which is mapped to frequency, amplitude and a detune algorithms. Fun stuff 🙂
Frequency and amplitude are visualized in the plotter. I used potentiometers, a FSR sensor and an eTextile bend sensor I made.


Light Face DIY Process



I created the mask and used led animations by Scott Marley’s open source project on Github.

My goal is to develop my own animations.

Check out the process below


Yo ! View LIGHT FACE as a finished project HERE 👈

Buy One HERE 👈


SmartGlove in the making

The Schematics of the Smart Glove I am developing to generate audio, visuals and lights via hand movements, fingers touching and fingers bending for Body Suit.

QR Code Bomber Jacket / The Maskerade Continues

The QR Code on the back of my jacket goes to my website.

People scan me while I walk down the street.

I made masks to have fun while taking public transportation while people stare at me… some laugh, others come up to me and start a conversations, others ignore… It’s fun, I feel like a superhero when wearing it.

To know more about its significance and / or to buy one, go to my website: WILLPOWER FLOW

finger bend etextile sensor WILLPOWER STUDIOS

Finger Bend Sensor

Finger Bend

is a bend sensor created to find a way of making finger bends inside of a glove, control light and sound.

The idea behind this glove is to then connect it to a body suit with other eTextile sensors for Immersive Audiovisual Performances.

The glove will also have touch sensors at the tips and a gyroscope for sensing movements in both physical and virtual spaces.

What inspired me to create this project was the vision of performing freely through body movements.

It is our innate interface. From my view, it is the obvious tool, instead of a trackpad, mouse, tablet, controllers, joysticks…


Inspiration: KOBAKANT’s sheath bend sensor.


Finger Bend is part of The E-Textile Summercamp’s Electronic Textile Swatch Exchange

The E-Textile Summercamp‘s Swatchbook Exchange is a platform for sharing physical work samples in the field of electronic textiles.

The exchange wishes to emphasize the importance of physicality and quality workmanship in an increasingly digital world.



× Stretch Piezoresistive Fabric

× Copper Thread

× Stretchy Jersey Fabric Base

× non-conductive fabric

× non-conductive thread


× Sewing machine


× Breadboard

× Computer with arduino and the library for the microcontroller* you are using if it is not yet installed

× USB cable

× Lighter or heat gun (for shrink tube)

*Examples of Microcontrollers: Arduino Uno / Nano / Teensy / ESP32




How the Finger Bend is made:

Sheath Finger Bend Sensor eTextiles

The illustration above was inspired by plusea’s drawing.



Let’s make it !



  1. Cut the stretch jersey fabric to the length of your finger from the knuckle to the beginning of your nail and width of ~ 8 cm.
  2. Cut a piece of stretchy piezoresistive material and top fabric, both at the same size, similar to the photos below.
  3. Place piezoresistive stretchy fabric in between the base and top fabrics.

Sew 3 lines to slide the 2 copper threads in between them

  1. Cut extremities for closing
  2. sew the ‘inside’ to close
  3. Turn it inside out
  4. Slide a finger through it to feel the size
  5. Do a few bends to make sure it fits around your finger nicely.

  1. Slide copper thread through pathways with a tight knot at the entrance before going through hole
  2. Circle pin with copper thread
  3. Slide pin through shrink tube
  4. Use head gun or lighter to shrink it on pin and copper thread.
  5. Do the same with the next thread


How to test it:

Connect the copper threads pins to alligator clips, and connect those to a multimeter with the ohm measurement selected.

Observe the change in ohms as your finger bends.

Make sure the copper threads do not touch 😉


Programming a microcontroller to control LED by using Finger Bend:


The Longer pin of the LED goes to pin 4 of the board.


arduino code:

// start

// WILLPOWER @ Swatch Exchange 2021

#define LED_BUILTIN 13
#define LED 4

int bendSensorValue;
int light;

// the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
void setup() {

// initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.
pinMode(LED, OUTPUT);
pinMode(A0, INPUT_PULLUP);

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
bendSensorValue = analogRead(A0);
light = map(bendSensorValue, 740, 840, 255, 0);
light = constrain(light, 0, 255);

digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, light);
digitalWrite(LED, light);


// end

All Finger Bends are a bit different in terms of the data they are generating, so you may have to calibrate yours.

To do this, after you uploaded your code to your microcontroller, open the Serial Monitor in Arduino and compare the numbers between the highest and lowest… basically when you finger is straight versus bent.

Replace these numbers in the map function from 740, 840 to your numbers.

Keep playing with them until you get the result desired.

( the code is also on github: https://github.com/WillpowerStudios/FingerBend )



Photos documenting process of making 20 Finger Bend swatches 🙂

Light Arms

Watch Video

After his first eTextile / Fashion Tech project Light Jacket , WILLPOWER was inspired to make his first Wearable !

Light Arms | A Strap-On Light for The Night 🌓

lulu’s were used as LED PCB’s for fiber optic cables.

Slideshow of LIGHT ARMS Lit Up


Initial Sketches

All images and videos by WILLPOWER STUDIOS

Made @ WILLPOWER STUDIOS in Berlin, Germany


Sensors to make music

200315 – Sensors to make music

Testing different ways of triggering sounds for Body Instrument which will embed the circuit in fabric as a Smart Suit:

  1. Copper Button
  2. Capacitive Touch
  3. Bend
  4. Gyro / Acceleration

Microcontroller: Teensy 3.2

Coding in Arduino

Music Software: Ableton Live


The videos below show various tests of a motion sensor, bend and touch sensors.

The images below show the electronics that will be embedded in the body suit’s right hand Smart Glove, able to play sounds while controlling lights and/or visual art in real-time by moving the hand, bending fingers and touching, all visualized with addressable LEDs.


Light Arms

191224 - Light Arms

Light Arms activated. I push a ‘soft button’ to change the colors and trigger animations of the addressable LED, whose light is contained and traveling through a 2mm fiber optic cable…


Video above > A few weeks ago I wore and introduced my ‘Arm Lights’ while making live beats at Elektro Open Stage in Berlin.

eTextile Multi-Touchpad Playing Synth

190630 - Multi-Touchpad Playing Synth !

The intention behind the research and development of a multi-touchpad is to see if it is a good sensor to integrate with a Body Suit.

I was able to generate sounds by touching / tapping / pressing each one of the touchpads.

View images below to see how the Paper Touchpad was made.

Tools: Arduino & openFrameworks

Challenge: Drum sounds created noise whereas the synth wav worked beautifully.

Fixed ! with an ‘if’ statement in openFrameworks, saying that ‘if the value is smaller then the current threshold && bigger then the previous && the current file is loaded, do not play !

I learned how to make this multi-touch sensor from attending workshop by  KOBAKANT and vvvv.

The images below show how the etextile piece was made.

The images below show how the paper, copper and velostat prototype was made.

The images below show the workshop by KOBAKANT & VVVV.

teensy MIDI instrument

Apples MIDI Instrument

190611 - Apples MIDI Instrument

I’m playing sounds by touching apples. My first MIDI instrument thanks to my friend Khan who sent me this tutorial > http://little-scale.blogspot.com/2017/05/teensy-36-basics-touchread.html

I’m learning how to use MIDI with a Teensy microcontroller and Arduino to make a digital instrument.

2 bend sensors analog read arduino etextiles

Bend Sensor + Multi-Touchpad Read In Arduino and Visualized in openFrameworks

190524 - Bend Sensor Read In Arduino and Visualized in openFrameworks

2 Bend Sensors being visualized.

Reading serial in oF via ofxSimpleSerial to read both separate inputs.

In Arduino, I’m using the INPUT_PULLUP in order to use the internal 20k ohm resistor as a voltage divider.

A0 + A1 as analog pins for both sensors and the other Ground pins for the other side with the alligator clips.

I learned about creating matrices during Make Your Own Multi-Touchpad Workshop.

We read the serial values using vvvv, a commercial toolkit for visual programming, as well as Processing, a JAVA based language.

Since openFrameworks is my tool of choice, I used it to write an app to visualize Multi-Touchpads.


Light Jacket

Watch Video

As the left arm is bent, light animations are triggered.

I made this project as a student of the KOBA Wicked Winterschool where I learned about eTextiles ✂️ 🧥💡 🔋

A custom circuit board was made, conductive ⚡️ thread 🧵 and fabric 🧶 were used…

This is the first prototype.

~ Willpower LifeForce of WILLPOWER STUDIOS

Slideshow of Jacket Lit Up

Slideshow of Jacket Design


Initial Sketches

Circuit Board Design including an ATtiny85 Microcontroller, the triangular board to be of Kapton material, Copper connections from the ATtiny85 to its pins, a resistor for the voltage divider, a connection to the lulu’s (eTextile addressable LEDs), a power source which ended up being 3V instead of 5V and the bend sensor.

Red = Power, Black = Ground, Other colors = Data

Programming the 2 LED lights to the ATtiny85 based on the bend sensor that will flow through the fiber optic cable carrying the light of the jacket.

Programming the ATtiny85 microcontroller to control the lulu LEDs based on the bend sensor‘s data.

The process of making the circuit board during the KOBA Wicked Winterschool was so much fun !

Circuit Board: ATtiny85 as microcontroller.

Vynil cutter to cut Kapton into triangular shape and copper tape for conductive thread.

Watch Videos In Playlist Below

The process of making the eTextile Bend Sensor using Conductive Thread, Conductive Fabric and Velostat.

Sketches and Notes

Finalizing the ATtiny85 Circuit Board

Sewing the jacket whose pattern was created by a very talented Fashion Designer. It involved the Copper Conductive Thread, the 3V coin cell battery holder, the circuit board, 2 lulus, 2mm of diameter fiber optic cable, the bend sensor and running final tests.

All images and videos by WILLPOWER STUDIOS

Made at KOBAKANT during the Wicked Winterschool and then @ WILLPOWER STUDIOS

Light Vest - Process of sewing

eTextile sewing for Light Vest

Sewing the textile enclosure for the fiber optic which to carry the lulu ‘s light.

You can see the copper conductive thread sewed as well.

To support the Research & Development Division of WILLPOWER STUDIOS, please donate HERE


voltage divider

Voltage Divider - Bend Sensor controls LEDs

190317 - Voltage Divider > Sensor to control LEDs

The player above has 2 videos:

They show the tests of the bend sensor affecting the red led.

The first video uses a Flora board by adafruit.

In the second one, I am testing the ATtiny85 which ended up being the chosen microcontroller.

The sketchbook notes shows how the Voltage Divider works.

It ables me to turn the ohm changes from the sensor into voltage for analog reading by the microcontroller.

bend sensor

eTextile Bend Sensor


The process of making an eTextile Bend Sensor.

Conductive thread and fabric are used to capture the change in ohms from the bending.

Learned from KOBAKANT

Neoprene Bend Sensor


Cutting Neoprene to make a bend sensor.

Notes for making Light Jacket.