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Determining the Perfect Mesh

Posted by Chelsea Chafin - webmaster on 10/14/2016

Have you finally completed your band by giving the fresh drummer a chance? Are you an event planner who wants your decorations to really stand out? Well then, you’ll want to discover the art of screen printing.

It may seem intimidating at first, all the different products to look into and the hands-on effort that needs to be applied, but that’s what I am here for! I am writing to assist you on your journey to bettering your career and market outlook.

The first step is to understand how you wish to present your finished design. It is important to fully understand how the design will be represented to your consumers. Do you want a full band photo on a tee shirt? Or maybe just the band name in gnarly letters? Depending on the size and detail, your mesh range will change.

Hold up, though.


What is mesh?

Mesh, simply put, is the area in which the ink for your design will run through to transfer the image to your product. It is decided based on the TPI (thread count per inches) that you need. An easy way to keep what kind of mesh you need in mind is similar to lefty loosy, righty tighty.

A more detailed design, such as the band photo mentioned above, will require thinner ink to make sure the entirety of the shading and features are captured. It also means that you will need a higher TPI because if the TPI is too low, creating larger holes in the mesh, your ink will bleed and the detailed images will be less recognizable and even distorted. 156/160 is a good count to stay around for the beginning. Think of this image as a detailed sugar skull that one may place in the middle of a table cloth or tiny print such as a list of bands on the back of a tee shirt.

If you are only wanting the band/company name or something like a classic white on black similar to the Misfits with the large print name and the iconic white face, then you will not only want thick ink, making sure the image is completely filled in, but also a lower TPI. At a higher TPI the ink won’t be able to pass through the mesh which will distort your image in a different way. 110 is about the size you would want to go, especially for a white color.

An image such as this (without a great deal of detail) would work fine with a mesh count of 156 / 160)

So when deciding your mesh based on image and ink, you now know that thinner ink/more-detailed image needs smaller holes (high TPI) and thicker ink/broader image needs larger holes (low TPI).

When you are ready to purchase your mesh, Texsource offers Aluminum Frames (23’’ x 31’’, 20’’ x 24’’, and 20’’ x 28’’) which include mesh, or not if you would prefer to buy large amounts of mesh separately, and covers a majority of the space, taking away 4’’ from both width and height for the frame itself. Of course, if less space is needed you are not forced into these dimensions; the product has great reviews based on the usable size including sleeve and leg prints.

The Texsource Wood Frame is also available and includes larger sizing such as 25’’ x 36’’. This frame also can be ordered with or without the mesh as Texsource offers yards of screen mesh which can be very helpful when different designs are used or different fabrics.
                             Replacement mesh of all sizes is available from Texsource

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