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Respiration monitoring in everyday life enables the early detection of the diseases and disorders that can suddenly manifest in a life threatening episode. Long-term monitoring can extend the capabilities of healthcare providers if reliability can be achieved economically. In this paper, the potential for using capacitive sensing to serve as an inexpensive method for long-term respiration sensing is explored. This paper proposes new designs of capacitive sensors for respiration sensing and describes the design and fabrication of a prototype textile-based capacitive-sensor respiration belt. Two capacitive sensors were designed and fabricated for detecting chest or abdominal circumference changes of up to 60 mm. These sensors gave good linearity, and the respiration measurements obtained with these new sensors show that they are capable of measuring respiration rate, and possibly lung function parameters.