What is a mesh count?
Mesh count in Screen Printing refers to the number of polyester threads crossing each other per square inch on a screen; with higher counts providing finer detail and lower counts accommodating thicker inks or rougher surfaces.
Why is this important?
Choosing the correct mesh count is super important when it comes to Screen Printing. Depending on what you plan to print, you'll require a certain mesh count.
Printing onto Paper & Card needs a lower mesh count as they allow thicker ink deposits and provide better coverage on porous surfaces.
Whereas for printing onto T-Shirts & Fabric, you'll need a higher mesh count because it allows for finer detail, better ink control, and improved overall print quality as the surface is smoother and more absorbent than Paper & Card.
What mesh count do I need?
As stated before, different mesh counts are chosen to achieve more optimal prints for specific substrates.
To understand what's best for your Screen Printing project, the first thing we need to know is the way in which we measure mesh count. The two most common ways of measuring mesh count are:
UK T Measurement - The number of threads per centimetre (not the size of the holes)
US Mesh Measurement - The number of threads per inch (not the size of the holes)
Below are detailed breakdowns of the mesh counts we stock and what we recommend using them for. We have also included the US Mesh Measurement too in case you are trying to convert!
43T (110 US)
Suitable for printing with thicker inks on heavy fabrics, paper, cardboard, and other porous materials. It allows for a higher ink deposit and works well for designs with larger elements and lower levels of detail. Also great for printing under base layers - leaving a nice deposit of base layer for you to print your colour on top.
55T (140 US)
Ideal for general-purpose printing on fabrics, T-shirts, textiles, and other materials where a balanced level of ink coverage is needed. It offers a good compromise between finer details and ink flow.
77T (196 US)
Well-suited for printing on textiles, apparel, and garments as well as Paper & Card where medium-level detail and ink coverage are required. It can handle moderately intricate designs with good ink control.
90T (230 US)
Perfect for printing on fine fabrics, light textiles and Paper and Card that require high detail. It is commonly used for intricate designs halftones and CYMK printing. We also recommend this mesh count for the top layer mesh count. It leaves a thin but clean layer of ink on your under base.
120T (305 US)
Ideal for finer detail and printing on Paper & Card. As this mesh count won't allow much ink through, it's great for fine lines and text, detailed graphics, and high-resolution images that demand superior ink control and sharpness.