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A Perfect Match: Picking the Perfect Mesh Count

Posted by Angel Peterson on 5/2/2018

When it comes to screen printing, the most confusing part for many is picking the correct
mesh count screen. Choosing the correct mesh count is an important step in the screen printing process because it can determine the outcome of the print. The mesh count can determine the amount of ink that can flow through and can also determine the level of detail the screen can hold.

Mesh size is determined by how many threads there are per square inch. A higher mesh count means the holes in the screen are finer and will allow finer detail. The higher mesh count also reduces the amount of ink that can be deposited through the screen. The low mesh count means that the holes are larger and allows more ink to flow through.

For example, if you want a design that is highly detailed, a high mesh screen would be needed. The low mesh screen would deposit too much ink, which is not ideal. If you wanted to use a glitter ink, then the low mesh screen would be best. The low mesh screen would allow for the particles in the glitter ink to flow through, which would not be possible with a high mesh screen.

Although choosing the perfect mesh screen is not an exact science, the following is an outline for the best mesh count to pick for different types of printing.

Guidelines for General Screen Printing Jobs

1.      40-61 mesh count: This mesh count is best for glitter, shimmer and high-density inks. The shimmer and glitter inks have particles in them, which means they cannot go through the finer mesh screens.

2.   86 mesh count: This count allows for heavy ink deposit and is typically used for bold copying on dark fabrics.

3.      110 mesh count: The most commonly used mesh count in the industry. This count is best for text and spot colors.

4.      156 mesh count: This mesh count is most commonly used for regular detail and has moderate ink deposit.

5.       200-240 mesh count: This mesh is fine and is good for high detail prints and is also good to print onto white or light-colored products.

6.      305 and higher mesh counts: These mesh counts are very fine and are good for extremely detailed prints.

Selecting the correct mesh count for your screen printing job is important. If the correct count is not chosen, then there is potential for your print job to not turnout to the proper look you envisioned. Below is a video that will give more information about selecting the correct mesh count for your screen printing job.

Watch this corresponding video with Dwayne Collins explaining proper mesh selection for various types of print jobs.

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