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Electronics 2014, 3(4), 564-581;

Garment-Integrated Bend Sensor

College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
College of Design, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 31 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Electronics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1709 KB, uploaded 26 September 2014]   |  


Garment-integrated sensors equip clothes with a smart sensing capability, while preserving the comfort of the user. However, this benefit can be to the detriment of sensing accuracy due to the unpredictability of garment movement (which affects sensor positioning) and textile folds (which can affect sensor orientation). However, sensors integrated directly into garments or fabric structures can also be used to detect the movement of the garment during wearing. Specifically, a textile bend sensor could be used to sense folds in the garment. We tested a garment-integrated stitched sensor for five types of folds, stitched on five different weights of un-stretchable denim fabric and analyzed the effects of fold complexity and fabric stiffness, under un-insulated and insulated conditions. Results show that insulation improves the linearity and repeatability of the sensor response, particularly for higher fold complexity. Stiffer fabrics show greater sensitivity, but less linearity. Sensor response amplitude is larger for more complex fold geometries. The utility of a linear bending response (insulated) and a binary shorting response (un-insulated) is discussed. Overall, the sensor exhibits excellent repeatability and accuracy, particularly for a fiber-based, textile-integrated sensor. View Full-Text
Keywords: garment-integrated sensing; bend sensor; wearable technology; smart clothing; e-textiles garment-integrated sensing; bend sensor; wearable technology; smart clothing; e-textiles

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Gioberto, G.; Dunne, L.E. Garment-Integrated Bend Sensor. Electronics 2014, 3, 564-581.

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