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Title: The design of tactile knitted e-textiles for interactive applications
Authors: Chen, Amy
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2021
Abstract: A range of techniques, including weave and embroidery, have been used to produce textiles integrated with electronics (i.e. e-textiles) for various applications, including fashion, health care and user interfaces. However, knitting is underutilised, and previous studies have not always maximised the full potential of this construction method, in conjunction with the physical and digital materials that comprise the e-textile composite. In the context of this study, physical materials encompass the constituents within the textile structure, such as textile yarns and conductive yarns, and digital materials refer to hardware and software. The digital material makes a significant contribution to the design of interactive objects, yet its impact on e-textile design has not yet been explored in depth. A 'research through design' approach was undertaken to explore the design potential of knitted textile construction in e-textiles. This investigation into knitted e-textiles examined how the potential of e-textiles can be revealed via holistic exploration of physical and digital materials as part of a material-driven process. The research is based on three bodies of work from the researcher's practice that investigated knitted polymeric optical fibres for illumination, touch-sensitive tassels and gesture-sensing knitted e-textiles. These three projects presented contrasting design contexts and their resultant textile-based knitted e-textile designs. Reflection upon these three bodies of work resulted in the production of models to conceptualise e-textile design as the interplay between physical materials, digital materials and production equipment. The models highlight the effects of various affordances on the development of e-textiles and the nuances between the types of digital material in e-textile design. This thesis contributes new knowledge regarding the production of knitted e-textiles that has interactive applications and provides a theoretical framework in e-textile materiality that can facilitate the exploration of the potential of e-textiles.
Subjects: Textile design -- Technological innovations
Textile fabrics
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: 219 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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