Screen Printing Mesh

Your Stop for Name Brand Screen Printing Mesh Frames

Finding the right screen printing mesh for your project isn’t always the easiest choice, sometimes it comes down to trial and error depending on what kind of outcome you’re looking for.

No two screen printing jobs will have the same requirements, so it’s best to experiment with different types of mesh to understand what the results are. That way, the more experience you gain, the more time you’ll save on your next printing job..

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Why Choose Garston for Your Screen Printing Mesh?

affordable pricing

Affordable Prices

After starting strictly as a sign business, we’ve progressed into screen printing, and we still offer the most honest, low prices for all of our screen printing supplies.

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Customer Satisfaction

Here at Garston, we take the time and effort to find the screen printing supplies you desperately need for your project or print shop. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll point you in the right direction.

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Name Brand Products

Having a Screen Printing business can be expensive. That’s why we price our products at a low, affordable rate. We also supply most of our products in bulk, saving you more in the long-run. Can’t find what you need? Reach out to us!

Shop Individual Screen Printing Mesh Frames:

Types of Screen Printing Mesh

  • 25 to 40 mesh count: Normally used for shimmer or glitter inks. This type of ink contains particles that won’t pass through finer mesh.
  • 60 mesh counts: Good for heavy ink deposition, and commonly used for sweatshirt numbers or letters.
  • 80 to 86 mesh counts: This is a good mesh count for thermal transfer, underlay paper or specialty inks.

  • 110-160 mesh count: This is the most common type of mesh count used in screen printing. On the low end of the spectrum, this mesh count is good for heavy ink sediment and printing on dark fabric while still creating bold colors. The higher mesh counts will print detailed images with a good amount of ink deposition.
  • 230 to 280 mesh count: This type of mesh count allows for lighter ink deposits which on one hand will not print as bright, but does offer printed detail.

How To Select the Right Mesh Count

Mesh Count Basics

To figure out which mesh count is right for your screen printing project, you’ll need to understand the basics about screen printing mesh. Do you understand what “mesh count” means? Mesh count refers to how many fibers are in one square inch of your screen.

For instance, a 160 mesh count has 160 fibers in one square inch. The lower the mesh count, the larger the opening will be, allowing more ink to flow. A higher mesh count means that less ink will flow through providing finer details.

If you are looking into a mesh count that includes, “T” this simply means the diameter of the mesh. Threads can also be seen as:

  • “SS” – very thin
  • “M” – between S and T thread diameters
  • “S” – thin thread
  • “T” – standard thread diameter
  • “HD” – thicker, heavy duty
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Understanding Mesh Counts

We’ve already detailed the most popular mesh counts, but we’d like to further emphasis the importance of knowing which corresponds to what ink type. As you’ve seen, there are a variety of mesh counts or thread-per-inch (TPI).

So an 86 mesh count, will contain 86 vertically placed threads while having 86 horizontally placed threads for every square inch. The space between each thread are where ink will pass through and end up on the wire mesh. When the empty areas are larger, the mesh count or TPI will be lower, while higher TPI or mesh counts result in detailed prints.

If you’re aiming for a detailed image, it’s best to have a higher TPI, and normally, thinner inks are used with this type of mesh count. Trying to use thinner inks will large openings wouldn’t work because the ink would simply just spread around the entire mesh screen. If you’re looking to use thicker ink, it’s best to go with a large opening, seeing that the ink wouldn’t go through a mesh with a high TPI because the openings are too small.

Most beginners will start with a mesh size around 110, but the standard industry size is around 156. Block letters or large spot colors are good for 110 mesh size, but 158 TPI is best for prints needing high details.

Other Considerations

It’s also good to note that screens with a variety of densities will only hold certain amounts of emulsion, while lower mesh counts can hold more. This statement means that lower mesh counts will need longer exposure for screens for the emulsion to set properly.

Water-based inks typically dry faster with a finer screen. You could also add a retarder to the ink to keep it from transferring and slowing down the process. Overall, choosing a mesh count is up to the screen printer. Once you’ve gained experience, tested out a few different mesh types through experimentation, you’ll be able to find the mesh count that gives you the results you want to see.

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Screen Printing Mesh FAQ

What Is The Purpose of Screen Printing Mesh?

Mesh essentially acts as a net to hold your photo stencil in place while also deterring unwanted ink from depositing. You should always choose a mesh that is flexible, allowing for a squeegee to swiftly move up and down on the surface of the screen. The mesh also needs to be resilient, so that it can return to its original shape.

What Is Mesh Prep?

One of the best ways to make high quality stencils is to properly prepare your mesh for emulsion coating. A lot of screen printers overlook the importance of mesh prep, but it simply comes down to improving your stencil adhesion, preventing pinholes and early stencil breakdown.

Usually after mesh is created by a manufacturer, it’s cleaned. But from the factory to your shop, there can be a lot of mishandling or contamination (greasy residue, dust or dirt) that happens with your mesh. Upon arrival, it’s good to fully clean and degrease your mesh.

Why Does a High Mesh Count Tear Easier?

Without the proper handling and care, any mesh can get a tear, but high mesh counts are known for being more fragile and susceptible to receiving damage.

Why Is Mesh Tension Important?

The tension of your mesh can affect stencil wear, ink flow and performance as well as definition and detail in your print. When a squeegee is used on mesh, the screen needs to snap off the substrate and will leave behind a clear print. If the tension is no longer present, the ink can smear, blur the edges of the print and cause the surface of the substrate to move. So, it’s important to remember that tension should be equal for warp (long way) and weft (crossways) and to keep the direction of the opening the same as the physical shape. This is important to remember for printing fine lines, halftones, duo tones and four-color process work.

How Many Times Can I Re-Use Screen Printing Mesh?

If you properly care for your mesh, it can lasts for thousands of prints. Hints that you may need to replace your mesh are: gray cast, sagging portions, and poor print performance.

Garston, Sign Screen & Digital

Honest, Fair Prices On All Mesh

Garton is dedicated to providing our widespread client base with our large selection of screen printing mesh. No matter what kind of printing job you’re looking to do, we’ll be able to assist you with our years of experience in the industry. Reach out to us at 800-966-9626 to discuss the best options for your screen printing mesh.