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Title: An investigation of integrated woven electronic textiles (e-textiles) via design led processes
Author: Veja, Priti
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 1141
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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Electronic textiles (e­‐textiles) are created by the amalgamation of electronics and textiles, where electronics are integrated into or onto fabric substrates. Woven textiles are specifically considered in this thesis to integrate electronics into textiles' orthogonal architecture. This thesis investigates 'How can the weaving process be manipulated to make woven e-­textiles with integrated electronics?' The methodological approach taken is practice based research carried out via a technical materials approach and creative craft methods. An investigation of woven e-­textiles through design led practice and woven expertise is presented. Previously, woven e-­textiles have been investigated either via technical material approaches, (where the main emphasis remains on function) or via creative craft methods, (which emphasise experimental forms, manipulate integration methods and apply craft based knowledge). Both of these approaches have presented only limited investigation of unobtrusive integrated electronics in woven e-­textiles, and woven structures have not been fully utilised to support the integration. The research applies reflective practice through a design process model; this is based on the researcher's previous weaving expertise and designing methods. The work investigates how woven construction may be manipulated to develop novel integrated woven e-­textiles. It was found that five woven approaches were particularly of value for electronics integration. These were the use of double cloth, the integration of multiple functions into the textiles as part of the weaving, the use of complex weaving techniques to attach and integrate components, the use of inlay weft weaving and the manipulation of floats (free floating threads). The thesis makes original contributions to knowledge, including identification of key stages in the woven e-­textile design process, identification and application of advanced weaving techniques to facilitate integrated woven e-­textiles, and compilation of a systematic record of woven e-­‐textile techniques as a technical woven repository. Underpinning design principles that influence the developed e-­textile outcomes are identified. A range of woven e-­textile samples are designed and made. Three specific examples including an actuator ('RGB colour mixer'), a circuit ('corrugated pleat LED v2') and a soft module ('battery holder module v4'), are described in detail to illustrate their development using the e-­textile design process model. The knowledge gained has potential to be applied to industrial woven processes for e-­textiles.
Supervisor: Baurley, S. Sponsor: Brunel University ; EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Weave ; E-textiles ; Textile design practice ; Smart textiles ; Design thinking