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Choose the Right Mesh for Your Screen Printing Design

by Chris 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


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