Wearable Technology: Fabricademy à la carte

Learn to design the garments of the future

The Wearable Technology package focuses on the design and integration of electronics with and as textiles for the development of smart fabrics that are aesthetically and performance-wise enhanced with microcontrollers, sensors, actuators and programmable logics.

Course Length

4 weeks (2 sessions per week) – From 20th October to 15th December 2020






Fab Lab Barcelona — IAAC

Admission Requirements

Artists, Fashion or Costume Designers, Engineers, Designers or Architects, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions, PhD candidates in applied research fields.

Are you interested in learning advanced skills offered by Fabricademy, Textile and Technology Academy, but you don’t have the time to attend the full course?

Fabricademy à la carte packages provide participants with a hybrid experience of online lectures and tutorials combined with intense “live” hands-on learning around specific topics.

Choose any of our three packages or create your own combination of weekly modules to enrich your personal journey and learn with us attending the program at one of our Nodes or from your own home laboratory!

About the course

The Wearable Technology package focuses on the design and integration of electronics with and as textiles for the development of smart fabrics that are aesthetically and performance-wise enhanced with microcontrollers, sensors, actuators and programmable logics.

Participants will obtain basic programming, hardware design and circuit crafting skills in order to create interactive prototypes using conductive threads, fabrics, e-embroidery and other techniques. The projects can be developed for a broad range of applications, from performative arts to healthcare solutions.

Week 1: E-Textile

Students will be introduced to an overview of the field of electronic textiles, example works in the field as well as materials and technical developments that have made these projects possible. We will go into details on different techniques for making soft/flexible/fabric circuits. We will also introduce idea of microcontrollers using ATTINY as an example. We will cover simple exercise of opening blink LED example, going over the code basic and uploading to have the first step into Arduino programming.

Class outline

  • Introduction
  • Why soft, why embedding
  • What is electricity?
  • What is a circuit
  • How does electricity move
  • Voltage, Resistance, Current
  • Conductive materials
  • Fabrics – resistive/conductive
  • Threads – resistive/conductive
  • Inks – resistive/conductive
  • Tools
  • Vinyl cutter, laser, embroidery, machine sewing
  • Multimeter, soldering iron
  • Hard/soft connections
  • Machine-sewable Hard/Soft Connections
  • Crimp beads
  • Perfboard/Conductive thread
  • Metal machine popper/Conductive fabric
  • Hand sewable metal popper/Conductive thread
  • Wire/Conductive fabric (soldering)
  • Wire/Conductive thread (soldering)


  • Soft sensors
  • Digital
  • Switches – momentary/toggle
  • Tilt
  • Joystick
  • Stroke
  • Analog
  • Pressure sensor
  • Potentiometers
  • Stretch sensors – fabric/knit
  • Bend sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Programming
  • Intro to microcontrollers and board computers
  • Connecting to the microcontroller
  • Reading code
  • Sensor circuits
  • Voltage dividers
  • Pull up/down resistors
  • Tips for making data meaningful
  • Conductive materials
  • Hard soft connections
  • Soft sensors

Week 2: Wearables

This second class on the topic of wearables and e-textiles will provide a more advanced coverage on soft sensors and actuators.

Class outline

  • Introduction
  • What does it mean to be wearable? What factors and variables must we take into consideration?
  • Actuators
  • What are different types of outputs? How do we control them? What are transducers?
  • Visual
  • LEDs
  • Neopixels
  • Optical fibers
  • Thermochromic ink + heated circuit/code
  • Sound
  • Fabric speakers + amplifier circuits/code
  • Motion
  • Shape memory alloy + high load circuit/code
  • Flip dot


  • Flapping wing
  • Mini vibration motors
  • Powering circuits
  • ATtiny
  • Intro – miniaturizing, pinout, etc
  • Programming the ATtiny
  • Touch/sensor circuit (the same one I did at the workshop)
  • Sound circuit with stretch sensor
  • Wireless
  • RF, EMF circuits
  • Antennas
  • eTextile Tools
  • Why create tools to support your practice
  • Pin probes
  • Continuity testers
  • Measuring resistance
  • Actuators

Week 3: Soft Robotics

This class will focus in the study of a specific field in robotics, the soft robotics. Unlike rigid robots we are mostly used to, soft bodied robots have similarities and performance characteristics similar to living organisms or the human body. Soft-robotics are based in Bio-inspired design or biomimicry and have applications in wearables, rehabilitation prosthetics, surgical robots, rescuing and others. We will focus on the fabrication of soft actuators, sensors and grippers using novel materials, artificial muscles and performative locomotion design.

Class outline

  • References
  • Biomimicry
  • Locomotion


  • Pneumatics
  • Flexures
  • Molding and casting


  • Thermoadesive vynil
  • Silicone 30 shore


  • 3D print filament
  • Pump

Week 4: Skin Electronics

Inspired by invisible computing, augmenting human capabilities and magic, this class proposes novel ways of interacting with the world. The focus is on Katia Vega´s Beauty Technology, a wearable computing subfield that integrates technology into cosmetics to be applied directly to one’s skin, fingernails and hair in order to transform the body’s surface in an interactive platform. Conductive Makeup, Tech Nails, FX e-makeup and Hairware are some of Beauty Technologies. Connect your body with environment and enhance your communication

Class outline

  • References
  • Projects


  • Electronics on the skin
  • Rfid tags

If you’d like to join only for one of the weeks, please let us know when filling the application form


Anastasia Pistofidou

Materials & Textiles Lead

OCT 2020 — DEC 2020

Want to know more about this course?

Luciana Asinari

Education Coordinator
[email protected]