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Crystal Mesh by Melissa



Credits: Melissa Coleman and Rachel Freire
Year of Invention: 2017
Dimensions: 8cm x 8cm x 0.4cm


A mesh fabric with a sewn-in e-textile LED circuit that’s been crystallised.
This sample is made in the style of Electric Crystallography – a new work that will be published in 2017.

Crystal closeup


Materials Inspiration / References:

Double Layer Tulle, 2016 by Anja Hertenberger – http://etextile-summercamp.org/swatch-exchange/double-layer-tulle/

Second Skin, 2016 by Rachel Freire – http://etextile-summercamp.org/swatch-exchange/second-skin/


Growing Inspiration / References:

Grow- or PopSwatch, 2016 by Svenja Keune – http://etextile-summercamp.org/swatch-exchange/grow-or-popswatch/

Conductive Kombucha, 2016 by Giulia Tomasello – http://etextile-summercamp.org/swatch-exchange/conductive-kombucha/



  • mesh fabric
  • conductive thread
  • jewellery wire
  • potassium aluminium sulphate (alum)
  • starter crystal (by-product of crystallisation)
  • nail varnish
  • superglue



crystallisation, zigzag stitchings, electronics, e-textiles


Crystal Mesh light off

Crystal Mesh light on


Detailed instructions:


Prepare the circuit
Solder rings onto SMD LEDs and sew into a circuit. This circuit has a zigzag stitch on top of the conductive thread. Glue a starter crystal onto the LED.

Prepare the bath
Prepare a bath of Alum crystals, for example 70gr / 100ml. The warmer the water, the more crystals will dissolve. Add any colouring. When all crystals are dissolved pour your solution into a container, filtering the water to make sure no dust gets in.

Let the crystals grow
Hang your circuit ends just outside the bath to make sure a battery can still connect to it after the bath. Let the water cool down until enough crystals have formed. This often takes about 20-30 minutes. Make sure not to move the water unless you want small crystals. Take your circuit out and put it on kitchen paper to let it dry. After drying you can test your circuit.

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