Electronic Textiles (eTextiles) and open source material has been entangled with “DIY” movements and hands on work to create new interactive interfaces. Studies have shown the potential these have to bring computational knowledge closer to new audiences. We address how eTextiles can approach a traditional textile art, specifically “Arpilleras” from Chile, to understand how each field contributes from a symbolic, material and technical perspective. Following participatory approach methods and STEAM guidelines to create an educational program, we observed how eTextiles can influence the creation of soft interactive interfaces that enhance the communicative character and cultural heritage of a craft, and the potential of their use in a pedagogical context by using a specially designed kit. Our study suggests that connecting technology with strong cultural identity craft, can help to reach new audiences, revitalize the traditional technique, and create new tools for expression and creativity.
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