Choosing the Right Mesh: Which Mesh Should I Use For the Job

First, consider the look and print detail you hope to achieve and determine the ink required to achieve it. Ink flow during printing contributes to the unique look you desire, and different mesh constructions enable different ink flows. This issue examines the relationship between mesh count and thread diameter, and their impacts on mesh openings and ink flow. Ultimately, understanding mesh construction will help you match the right mesh with the ink you are using.

Mesh Openings

Mesh opening is the spacing between adjacent threads, and is determined by the combination of mesh count and thread diameter.  A larger mesh opening greatly improves the printability of any given ink, as more ink can flow through, however the larger opening may not accommodate certain fine detail prints.

Mesh Count

Mesh count refers to the number of threads per inch contained in the mesh. A higher mesh count creates finer holes, which enables finer print detail. A higher mesh count is described as fine, while a low mesh count is coarse.

Thread Diameter

Thinner thread diameters make printing easier as the overall fabric thickness of the mesh is reduced, which creates larger mesh openings and allows more ink to be deposited. Thinner threads cost more, are harder to find, and may be less durable and can tear easier.

Thicker threads are generally more durable, but result in smaller mesh openings and less detailed printing. Stretching the mesh to its optimum tension can greatly widen the mesh opening and improve ink flow.

A mid-range thread thickness is a good compromise between mesh durability and mesh opening.

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