Turtlestitch: a different kind of physical computing

Speaker: Margaret Low, Helen Luckhurst, Phil Jemmett
Topic: Turtlestitch: a different kind of physical computing; Programmatic embroidery

Date: Wednesday 20th January 2021
Time: 18:00 start
Location: N/A – webinar

You may view the recording here.

TurtleStitch is freely available software that enables the generation and stitching of patterns using a digital embroidery machine, effectively giving programmatic control of the machine.

It’s clear that TurtleStitch doesn’t meet the normal notion of physical computing, however it does enable the creation of physical/tangible objects through the use of hardware and software. More importantly TurtleStitch bridges the world of programming and textiles enabling the creation of stitched patterns on materials, in a way that is accessible to young and old alike.

The link to textiles opens many possibilities, and in particular to culture, something particularly relevant when Coventry becomes City of Culture in May 2021. Coventry has a rich history in textiles, at one point, half the population of the city made a living from silk ribbon weaving. Many cultures have distinctive textile crafts, and how textiles are decorated often celebrates the culture of their creator.

Another important feature of TurtleStitch is it helps people to understand how modern manufacturing is carried out. Much of our current manufacturing is done by programmable machinery, controlled by software.

Helen Luckhurst in WMG developed a range of resources to support the use of TurtleStitch in schools, and WMG’s outreach team offers training sessions for teachers and sessions for school classes(all currently virtual) to support its use. www.warwick.ac.uk/turtlestitch

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