Augmented Affective Touch in E-Textiles: Embodying Emotion and Environment for Holistic ‘Self-Health’©

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Augmented Affective Touch of E-Textiles
Embodying emotion and environment for holistic self-health

Covid-19 led to unprecedented levels of isolation for students, and the withdrawal of social support mechanisms left them detached from their lifestyles and networks. This significantly affected their mental health, with more female than male students reporting increased anxiety. Unparalleled restrictions in accessing outdoor environments led to a sense of nature-deficit and a biophilic disconnect which further compounded their stress. As learning off-campus becomes the new social norm, students are seeking alternative ways to self-support their wellbeing. This paper asks, “How can wearers read and respond to personal wellbeing in their own environments?” It draws upon the idea of restorative powers of nature and explores virtual relationships between personal environments and somatosensory experiences through the medium of e-textiles. Building on the author’s previous research it describes the design of four crafted, e-textile concepts which detect physiological biomarkers associated with stress. These elicit tactile memories and haptic mnemonics in response to the biomarkers. The e-textiles integrate with daily clothing and demonstrate potential opportunities to enhance student awareness, understanding, and management of their wellbeing. The mixed-methods research was evaluated through focus group methodologies which affirmed the social and technology acceptance of the e-textiles. The outcomes highlight the value of emotional attachment and affective touch afforded by e-textiles. The paper concludes that augmented- affective touch and the commingling of associated variables creates a ‘somato-haptic nexus’ which offers a complementary model of early intervention for self-supported student wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 8 Sept 2022
EventFTC Association of Fashion Textile Courses Futurescan 5: Conscious Communities: Conscious Communities - Nexus, University of Leeds Discovery Way Leeds LS2 3AA, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sept 20228 Sept 2022
Conference number: 5


ConferenceFTC Association of Fashion Textile Courses Futurescan 5: Conscious Communities
Abbreviated titleFTC Conscious Communities
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Affective Touch
  • E-Textiles
  • Haptic Mnemonics
  • Sub-conscious stress
  • Augmented cues
  • Tactile memories
  • Nature Deficit Disorder


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