Choose the Right Mesh for Your Screen Printing Design

by Chris Wilde December 24, 2014

Wondering what that number on the side of your screen printing screen means? It's the mesh-count. It tells you how many holes per inch. This video describes which mesh to use when.

40 Mesh

Artwork: Extremely low detail. Seriously, it's like printing through a screen door.
Inks: Really thick inks, or inks with large particles, like glitter inks.
Used For: Glitter, mostly.
Get it for: Merchmakr | Yudu | 20"x24"

86 Mesh

Artwork: Very low detail. If you are using text, it should be very large.
Inks: Thick, marshmallow or (creamy) peanut butter textured inks are best. Runny inks are a poor choice for this mesh.
Used For: Metallic and glitters with smaller particles.
Get it for: MerchmakrYudu | 20"x24"

110 Mesh

Artwork: No lines thinner than 1 point (or about the thickness of a pencil lead). Gradations not recommended unless using a very large-dot halftone pattern. Great for large fields of ink.
Inks: Great choice for many white ink prints. Thick, tough to print inks can be used a little easier through 110 mesh.
Used For: White ink on dark fabrics.
Get it for: Merchmakr | Yudu | 20"x24"

155-160 Mesh

Artwork: Somewhat fine details with some gradation (halftone) capturing capabilities. Text down to 10 points is not usually a problem.
Inks: Most inks, including some thicker ones, like white can be used with 155 mesh. Runnier inks can be used, but off-contact (a small gap between the printing screen and the garment surface) may be recommended.
Used For: This is a good general-purpose mesh.
Get it for: Merchmakr | Yudu | 20"x24"

200 Mesh

Artwork: Finer details and knockout lines (a field of ink with an unprinted line inside it) around 2 pts. Gradations up to a 50 line screen and small text.
Inks: Thinner inks and darker colors. Light colored inks can be used, but good coverage may require more passes with the squeegee.
Used For: Prints with higher detail and thinner coverage requirements. Small text. Also good for some sign printing.
Get it for: Merchmakr | Yudu | 20"x24"

220-230 Mesh

Artworks: Small text and logos needing a crisper edge. .5 point lines and gradations needing 4 or 5 tonalities.
Inks: Thinner inks—as with 200. Some white ink possible, but large fields can be problematic.
Used For: Sponsor logo designs that have many small lines and tiny text. Also good for some sign printing.
Get it for: Merchmakr | Yudu | 20"x24"

305 Mesh

Artwork: Very fine details like the kind used on true 4-color process or 60 lines-per-inch halftone screens or higher.
Inks: Thin inks. Process inks. White ink is heavily discouraged.
Used For: Very fine details and problem lines, dots, and text, or low-opacity images.
Get it for: Merchmakr | Yudu | 20"x24"

Chris Wilde
Chris Wilde

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