US jeans maker Levi Strauss and Google are working on clothing with touch-screen control capabilities.
The internet titan used its annual developers conference to reveal Project Jacquard and spotlight Levi Strauss as its first partner.
"We are enabling interactive textiles," said Emre Karagozler of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects team.
Watch: An introduction to "Project Jacquard"
"We do it by weaving conductive threads into fabric."
The special threads could be woven into an array of fabrics, and be made to visually stand out or go unnoticed, depending on designers' wishes. Conductivity could be limited to desired parts of fabric or spread across entire cloth.
"It is stretchable. It is washable," Karagozler said, as people controlled lights or computer screens with finger strokes on a blue cloth covering a table behind him. "It is just like normal fabric."
Google said Project Jacquard made it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.
Anything involving fabric, from suits or dresses to furniture or carpet, could have computer touchpad-style control capabilities woven in.
Conductive yarn was connected to tiny circuits, no bigger than jacket buttons, with miniaturised electronics that could use algorithms to recognise touches or swipes, the team said.
The data could be sent wirelessly to smart devices, enabling actions such as making phone calls or sending messages with brushes of fabric.
Levi Strauss' head of global product innovation Paul Dillinger, who took part in a Google presentation at the gathering, said: "The work that Google and Levi's are embarking on delivers an entirely new value to consumers with apparel that is emotional, aspirational and functional."