SensorKnits: Architecting textile sensors with machine knitting

Daniel Oran

Digital machine knitting is a highly programmable manufacturing process that has been utilized to produce apparel, accessories, and footwear. Our research presents three classes of textile sensors exploiting the resistive, piezoresistive, and capacitive properties of various textile structures enabled by machine knitting with conductive yarn. 

By carefully designing the knit structure with conductive and dielectric yarns,  we found that the resistance of knitted fabric can be programmatically controlled.  We also present applications that demonstrate how knitted sensors can be used at home and in wearables. 

E-textiles have been well explored in the field of interaction design, but this work makes the further step of exploring the correlation between the local knitted structure and the global electrical property of a textile.