Special Embroidery Designs: Electronics to shine

Last modified by Stella170101 on 2020/08/17 13:04

Do you want to one step further and sew LEDs on your pattern so that your design lights up?

On this page you can find out how it works.

What do you need?

  • Coin cell
  • Sewable coin battery holder – ideally with ON-OF switch
  • Sewable LEDs – I recommend Lilypad LEDs from SparkFun
  • Conductive thread – ideally embroiderable (otherwise you have to sew it b hand)
  • Needle
  • A couple of fixing pinsidea
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery non-woven fabric

…and of course an embroidery machine


LED auf Stoff.png

What must be done?

In order to sew an LED on your pattern, you have to embroider a conductive thread in addition to the design. You first embroider your design on an extra fabric (gray in the graphic), cut it out like a badge and sew it on another fabric (blue in the graphic) e.g. a small bag, on which you will embroider the conductive thread and also sew the LEDs on.

The design and the conductive thread are embroidered, the LEDs and the battery are sewn on by hand. To sew the design onto the fabric, you can either program a contour and embroider the badge onto the fabric or use a sewing machine.

Approach with the app:

Set a variable in the background, which specifies what should be embroidered -> "Embroidered part"

1. Program the design

  • It should only be called, if the variable "Embroidered part" has the value 1

2. Program the contour (unless you sew the badge on with a sewing machine)

  • It should only be called, if the variable "Embroidered part" has the value 1 OR 0.
  • If it has the value 0 it should be embroidered with a zigzag stitch (length 1 and width 22), otherwise with a running stitch (length 10).

3. Program the course of the conductive thread (unless your thread is not suitable for embroidery, then you must sew it on manually)

  • It should only be called if the variable "Embroidered part" has the value 2.
  • The battery requires 30mm space between the thread, i.e. 150 steps, and the LED a space of 10mm, i.e. 50 steps.
  • One thread connects all plus poles and one connects all minus poles.

4. Finally, export the program each with the values 0, 1 and 2. Then you should have 3 different programs. (if you embroider everything)

The program with the value 1 is to embroider the design on the badge.

The program with the value 0 is to embroider the conductive thread on the bottom fabric.

The program with the value 2 is to sew the badge onto the lower fabric. (unless you use a sewing machine)









Now the needlework:

1. First embroider the program with value 1 onto the fabric for the badge.
2. Then cut along your outline. Leave about half a centimeter blank.
3. Next, pick up the bottom fabric. Then embroider your program with value 0 with the conductive thread on it. Sew the LEDs to the right place by hand. Make sure that all negative poles and all positive poles are connected separately. The two threads must not touch.
4. So that the whole thing also gets power, sew the battery holder on the back of your lower fabric. Make sure that you connect the poles correctly: minus to minus - plus to plus.
5. Now take your badge and embroider it with your program with value 2 on the lower fabric. Alternatively, you can of course sew it on with a sewing machine. Pin the badge to the bottom fabric with a few fixing pins beforehand so that the badge does not slip.
6. Finally insert your battery - done.