Research Labs for E-Textiles

With the TexLab and the Textile Prototyping Lab (TPL), the Fraunhofer IZM offers outstanding resources, highly qualified staff, years of experience and a multitude of tools to advance and support the development of innovative e-textile applications.

Several state-of the art lamination presses allow for the seamless integration of electronic modules into textiles. With an industrial embroidery machine including TFP capability, a variety of conductive yarns and wires can be directly sewn onto textiles to realize complex electronic circuitry. Thermoplastic materials can be joined using our ultrasonic spot and rotary welding machines.

The e-textile bonder – developed at the Fraunhofer IZM – makes resource efficient and reliable interconnections between electronic modules and textile integrated circuits fast and easy. This innovative process enables us to achieve a mechanical and electrical interconnection in one step. Electronic modules of up to 50 x 50 mm² can be interconnected with conductive structures integrated into textiles of up to 100 x 100 cm².

With a digital knitting machine, a small format laser cutter, a plotter, the open-source spinning machine Hilo and other small machinery, the TPL offers the perfect conditions for the implementation of textile and e-textile prototypes. The integrated meeting space allows for project meetings or workshops in a creative and open atmosphere. 

Our excellent infrastructure of textile, climate, mechanical and electronics testing equipment as well as a standardized washing machine enable us to offer application specific and individually tailored quality and reliability testing for e-textiles. A subsequent failure and damage analysis is possible using microsection, microscopy, SEM, FIB or X-ray technology.

Lab infrastructure TexLab and TPL

  • ZSK industrial embroidery machine with W- and F-head
  • Kniterate digital double knitting machine
  • Sewing and overlock machines
  • Hilo spinning machine
  • E-Textile Bonder
  • Pfaff 8312 flatbed ultrasonic seam welder
  • Sonotronic ECO iSONIC ultrasonic spot welder
  • Thermotransfer presses (Lotus LTS 575, Sefa HP45)
  • Columbus SUBLIMAT vacuum membrane press
  • 3D printer: Prusa I3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Qidi X CF-Pro
  • CNC portal mill BZF PFE 500 PX
  • Nicomatic crimp press
  • Keithley multimeter, 3A source meter, pico ampere meter
  • Nikon SMZ1000 Stereo microscope
  • Elektrolux Wascator washing machine
  • DurAbrasion Standard mini Martindale
  • Optimel hotmelt gun (Kolb KAG 100)  

Design software

  • Altium Designer
  • CAM 350
  • Solid Works
  • BasePac
  • Matlab


NCA-Bonding interconnection process for E-Textiles

Interconnecting textiles and electronics: A new approach



Art meets Science: Prototyping Lab for textile electronics

Anyone who thinks of research laboratories only in terms of protective suits and clean rooms is not quite right: Since April, patterns, seams and mannequins have not been uncommon in the new Textile Prototyping Lab (TPL) at Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin.



Textile Prototyping Lab