Designing Soft Circuits & E-Textiles With Linh My Truong - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Designing Soft Circuits & E-Textiles With Linh My Truong

Multiple Dates
4 sessions
$245 per person
Up to 23 people
See Dates
$245 per person
$245 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this 4-part seminar, learn about embedded electronic circuits in fabric, exploring everything from the basics of circuits to hand-sewn sensors.

Course Description

Life is full of sensory information—of light, sound, and motion that can be captured with sensors and converted into digital data, fodder for tiny computers known as microcontrollers. In this exploratory seminar taught by interdisciplinary artist, educator, and tinkerer Linh My Truong, we’ll explore how to embed these circuits into wearable and soft objects in pursuit of crafting pieces ranging from elaborate LED cosplay outfits to midi controllers made of fabric. We’ll begin by learning how to create a basic sewn circuit with an LED before incorporating more electronic elements into our working knowledge and progressing to an Arduino-programmed soft circuit with a sensor. By the end of our time together, you’ll not only have a foundational understanding of the basic concepts of electronics, Arduino microcontrollers, and hand sewing, but also a wearable e-textile project of your own design, informed by guidance from your instructor!

This course is appropriate for students of all levels; no prior experience with circuits or sewing is necessary to participate. 

Syllabus at a Glance

This course includes four total sessions, each lasting two hours.

Summer Section A: Meets Tuesdays beginning September 6, skipping September 13.

Session 1 (Tuesday, 9/6, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Starting the Circuit: Introduction to e-textiles, how a circuit works, and creating our first sewn circuit with LED

-week off-

Session 2 (Tuesday, 9/20, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Switches, Buttons, and Sensors: Introducing more electronic elements to our circuitry knowledge

Session 3 (Thursday, 9/22, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Learn to Code: Learning Arduino software to program our microcontrollers and making use of our sensors

Session 4 (Tuesday, 9/27, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Advanced & Hand-Sewn Sensors: Exploring sensors and sharing project ideas

Please note: Session 3 is held on Thursday, 9/22.

Fall Section A: Meets Tuesdays beginning October 11.

Session 1 (Tuesday, 10/11, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Starting the Circuit: Introduction to e-textiles, how a circuit works, and creating our first sewn circuit with LED

Session 2 (Tuesday, 10/18, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Switches, Buttons, and Sensors: Introducing more electronic elements to our circuitry knowledge

Session 3 (Tuesday, 10/25, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Learn to Code: Learning Arduino software to program our microcontrollers and making use of our sensors

Session 4 (Tuesday, 11/1, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Advanced & Hand-Sewn Sensors: Exploring sensors and sharing project ideas 

Fall Section B: Meets Wednesdays beginning December 7, skipping December 21 and December 28.

Session 1 (Wednesday, 12/7, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Starting the Circuit: Introduction to e-textiles, how a circuit works, and creating our first sewn circuit with LED

Session 2 (Wednesday, 12/14, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Switches, Buttons, and Sensors: Introducing more electronic elements to our circuitry knowledge

-two weeks off-

Session 3 (Wednesday, 1/4/2023, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Learn to Code: Learning Arduino software to program our microcontrollers and making use of our sensors

Session 4 (Wednesday, 1/1/2023, 7–9:00 PM ET)| Advanced & Hand-Sewn Sensors: Exploring sensors and sharing project ideas 

Between Sessions

Between sessions, students will continue working on sewing and/or circuit programming projects started in class, as well as independent projects. Linh will be available to answer questions and help troubleshoot issues via email between sessions.

Course Materials

Please find an abbreviated list of materials below. Following registration, students will receive a more detailed list of what they'll need for each session, including links to purchase items they may not already have. Students should expect to pay between $60 and $90 on all class materials. 

  • Coin cell battery holder & battery
  • Conductive thread
  • Conductive fabric
  • Sewable LEDs
  • Alligator clips
  • Needles
  • Metal Snaps
  • Fabric or felt
  • Scissors
  • Computer or laptop capable of running Arduino software
  • Arduino-compatible wearable microcontroller
  • LiPo battery & charger (if applicable)
  • Sensors and additional materials depending on your individual project

Materials can be ordered from the following websites:

  • https://www.sparkfun.com/ (Lilypad boards + components)
  • https://www.adafruit.com/ (Flora/Gemma/Circuit Playground boards + components)
  • https://www.digikey.com/ https://www.mouser.com/ https://www.microcenter.com/

Pricing Options

In addition to full-price tickets, a limited number of no-pay spots are available for this course. Please note that these tickets are reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course and who expect to attend all sessions. No-pay spots are distributed via a randomized drawing two weeks before each course begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page

Community Guidelines for Students

Please take a moment to review our community guidelines for students, which aim to share our classroom ethos and help set the stage for the best possible learning experience.

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About Your Instructor
Linh My Truong
Linh My Truong

Linh My Truong is an interdisciplinary artist and educator working with textiles, video, and electronics. Through her exploration of the Japanese marbling art of suminagashi and her penchant for hard geometric forms, her work finds a place between chaos theory and an ordered universe. Her application of technology allows for the usage of light to create immersive art installations, bringing traditional art forms into the 21st century.

What Else You Should Know
Group Size

There are 23 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
  • Tue, Oct 11, 2022
    7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
    $245
    Get Tickets
  • Wed, Dec 7, 2022
    7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
    $245
    Get Tickets