I came across the artist and researcher Irene Posch a few years ago and was intrigued by her work. One thing she made were these winter LED gloves for signaling turn directions. I was fascinated with the project and wanted to create them for myself.
With an understanding of the circuit diagram and schematic, I wanted to prototype the physical form of the glove with electronics. I took some basic, disposable gloves and drew out a rudimentary layout of where and how the LEDs would be eventually placed.
Next, I laid out conductive thread along the path I drew on the glove. I positioned surface mount LEDs on the conductive thread and secured them down with tape. Eventually, the lights lit up when I inserted the con cell battery.
Taping LEDs to a disposable glove works. Taping LEDs to a fabric glove—not so much. Ideally, they would need to be sewed on. So what I needed to do was solder metal beads onto the sides of the LEDs so I could run conductive thread through and sew them onto the glove.
After creating my sewable LEDs, I proceeded to sew them onto a fabric glove. Since I had already prototyped with the disposable glvoes before, I knew where and how to position each of the elements. However, it did get tricky sewing everything up, especially since I had to account for the glove stretching when I put my hand in.