April 3, 2013 AT 2:00 am

Dyeing Conductive Yarn #WearableWednesday

colorfulconductiveyarn

Dyeing conductive yarn on Kobakant:

Conductive yarns are often in gray color which makes your project looks grayish. What if we color them in different colors so we can explore the aesthetic expression more freely, or match the conductive yarn color with the rest of the yarn to hide it completely?
I have made a trial to dye the conductive yarn. I have chosen Bekinox 50/2 conductive yarn (Polyester + Steinless steel) and Orbital Fibernox (Cotton + Stainless steel). These two yarn are almost same size with similar metal content. The difference is that one is with polyester and the other is cotton.

Cotton or natural fibers can be dyed with reactive dye. I have not tried it, but it is also possible to use natural dye with cotton. Reactive dye is one of the common dye stuff you can buy in shops. The dyeing temperature is 80 degrees, which means you can use cooking water to dye them.

On the other hand, dyeing polyester is a bit tricky. You need disperse dye to dye them. You will need to heat it up to 130 degrees, which means you can not just cook them in the pot (cooking water goes only up to 100 degrees)
I did this dyeing trial at the Swedish School of Textiles’ dye lab, where you have access to necessary chemicals, equipments and heating system.


conductivethread

Stainless Thin Conductive Yarn / Thick Conductive Thread – 35 ft - This 316L stainless steel thread falls somewhere between a thick thread and a thin yarn. Most sewing machines wouldn’t be happy with this thread since its thick, and it has the ‘furry’ soft feel of yarn which makes it poor for most e-textiles/wearables projects. However, the high conductivity and softness make it a great thread for making iPhone gloves

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