Mesh Counts for Screen Printing

Many people new to screen printing probably have a few screen printing screens that are all the same mesh count.  Understanding the mesh geometry can be a bit technical, but is highly beneficial for different types of screen printing jobs.  The mesh count and thread diameter are the two parts to be concerned with.  The mesh count refers to the number of threads per inch and the thread diameter is the diameter of the thread, before it has been woven into a mesh.  Screen printing equipment

Different mesh counts will affect your prints in these following ways:

  • Overall printability for dots (halftones), lines, and fine/smaller details
  • Crisp, clean looking screen prints
  • Ink release from the screen
  • Printing speed and ease of printing for your job
  • Ink volume thickness
  • Your overall ink used.  You want to avoid laying down too much ink and wasting ink…in turn wasting money.

For general, simple, manual screen printing  jobs we recommend a 160-180 mesh count.  For screen printing jobs that require more detail, finer lines, and/or halftones you can take your lines per inch and multiply that number by 4.  If your lines per inch are 55 x 4 then your recommended mesh count would be 220.  For these more detail orientated jobs mesh counts of 200-230 are usually used.

Screens that are 200 mesh counts or greater will have screens that are dyed an orange or yellow color.  This is done so that the extra light is absorbed into the dyed mesh rather than refracting around, which will ensure that your prints are crisp, clean and uniform.  The higher your mesh count then the longer you must expose your screen.

Call our LA location to speak with Rick and he can help answer any mesh count questions.

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