Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Make Smartphone-Friendly Gloves

This project involves sewing and smartphones so I think it totally qualifies as a geek craft. :) There are tons of DIY tutorials out there on how to make your gloves usable with your iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry, or other touchscreen phone. I just never had a need for them until I moved up north. And after the fourth snowfall of the winter, I was tired of having to bare my hands every time I wanted to use my phone outside.

Rather than make an entirely new pair of gloves from scratch, I chose to go the easy route and just modify my existing gloves. I bought my conductive thread off of Etsy, but buyer beware: apparently some brands don't work. The thread I purchased functions just fine. Contrary to my assumption, it doesn't look like stiff wire with a bright metallic sheen. Rather, it has a soft texture with a dark chrome hue and a very slight shine.

I used this tutorial from Make Projects, but I can tell you it took me more than 15 minutes for two fingers. Mainly because after I had sewed a perfect dot, it didn't quite line up exactly with where my finger touched the phone, so I'd have to carefully undo it without wasting any of the precious thread. Plus, the thumb dot position actually varies depending on what I'm doing (keyboard typing vs. zooming), so I had to make it a horizontally long point of contact. It was totally worth all the time and effort though, to have insulated hands while being able to access Google Maps as my car is warming up. ^___^

What other projects have you heard of that use conductive thread? I've got a little left to spare. :)

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