Emmi Pouta integrates electronics into textiles!

Emmi Pouta integrates electronics into textiles!

As a part of the What’s on your loom series, we feature the works of Finland-based textile designer Emmi Pouta.  Emmi is passionate about working in the intersections of textile and technology, and is driven by pushing the boundaries of textiles capabilities. She specializes in woven textiles, with eTextile-focus on multi-layer sensor structures and integration of electronics into textile-materials, from design-orientated origin. 


Title: Touch Interwoven

Emmi writes…Weaving is very suitable technique for exploring various complex structures that can be applied on, for example, electric circuit and sensor fabrication. Especially, digital Jacquard loom enables the creation of structurally diverse elements and their combinations for pushing the boundaries of textiles’ capabilities. In these examples, the sensorial and electrical properties of eTextile materials intertwine in multi-layer woven textiles through combining both conductive and non-conductive yarns suitable for weaving. Surely it is not only the technique that makes woven fabrics particularly suitable for sensing touch: soft and smooth materials naturally invite us to touch them. I personally consider textiles as one of the most meaningful materials in people’s lives: textiles protect our body, decorate our homes and are present in our everyday life in many different forms. This versatility and close connection with the human body offers countless opportunities to create more tactile and emotionally rich ways of interacting with technology through the soft materials around us.

These sensors consist of one or multiple woven conductive areas, electrodes. In the simplest structures, a single woven electrode detects when it is being touched, and multiple conductive areas work as independent sensors, as in this Rose-sensor fabric shown above. The electrodes are part of the pattern design: each of the rose motifs will separately detect when being touched. The conductive pattern is created by using the fil coupé-technique, where the fabric incorporates the jacquard pattern that is interwoven by using weft floats. The floating conductive weft creates the rose design on the surface of the fabric, and the floats between the motifs are being cut after weaving. Watch the sensor being tested here.

Interactive Puppet – Hand Puppet as Means for eTextile Synthesis

The interactive hand puppet is intended as a tool for interactive storytelling, to support child-adult- interaction with a thoroughly soft and textile-made object. The hand puppet consists of two layers: an inner sensor glove, designed to detect the movements of the user’s fingers, and a woven outer layer that has a touch sensitive user interface integrated into its woven structure. The two interfaces can be operated simultaneously by two separate users; an adult and a child.

(Text and Images Courtesy: Emmi Pouta)


Emmi is currently a doctoral student at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland.


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