Bring Your Multimeter to the Fabric Store

One way to find interesting conductive textiles for your wearables projects is to bring your

multimeter to the fabric store. Let’s go!

Look! It’s totally the fabric store, I swear!

Set your multimeter to continuity mode, so it beeps whenever there’s an electrical

connection between the probes.

Many of the metallic-looking fabrics we found were actually printed with sparkly ink, or

woven with a tinsel-like shiny plastic.

Metallic looking, but not metallic being… sadly enough.

We had some luck in the trims section where we found some chain link and metal beads.

These materials have applications as capacitive touch buttons, but probably don’t have good

enough continuity to power any LEDs.

Is it just in here, though? I wanna find, like, some continuity down the roll, c’mon!

The multimeter is also handy for determining if your metal notions are clear-coated or


Since these sewing materials were never intended to carry an electrical current or signal,

their quirks may determine how they can be used in your circuit. This iridescent material,

for example, has conductive fibers woven in one direction only, so to make it into a good

captouch pad I’ll stitch a few paths of conductive thread to connect all those fibers.

We hope this helps you get creative on your next shopping trip! If you’ve got requests

for my next video or questions, leave them in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe

for more wearable electronics from Adafruit.