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Hannah Perner-Wilson writes about her embroidered potentiometers:

Made using the zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to sew/embroider a conductive and a resistive trace side by side. Then any conductive object can be used to bridge the contact between the traces and measure the position/distance from measuring point through the change in resistance.

In the example video bellow a metal tea-spoon is used as a “conductive wiper finger”.

Syuzi Pakhchyan describes this method in her book Fashioning Technology, by example of a linear slider potentiometer using a magnet to keep the conductive wiper finger in place.

In the Maker Shed:

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Fashioning Technology

Ready to take your craft projects to the next level? With “smart” materials, unorthodox assembly techniques, and the right tools, you can create accessories, housewares, and toys that light up, make sounds, and more.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).