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Welcome To Cora’s Corner, where every month I am going to help you with  your artwork issues. This month I would like to discuss how screen print screen mesh count affect your artwork.

Screen mesh counts are how many threads per inch. Generally screens for garment printing run from 25 threads per inch to 305 threads per inch. The lower the mesh count the more ink can flow thru the openings in the mesh.

The mesh count you use depends a lot with how detailed your image. The more detailed your image, the higher the mesh count of your screen needs to be.

*25-40 mesh count: Glitter, shimmers, high density inks and thick inks. These inks have large particles or thick viscosity.

*60-80 mesh count: Thick ink. Used when a heavy layer is needed. Often used for printing on mesh jerseys. Used when large areas or dark fabrics needs to be covered.

*80-86 mesh count: Thick to medium ink. Often used to print a thick underbase on dark fabrics, specialty inks like puff, and heat transfers.

*110-160 mesh count: Medium ink. These are very popular mesh counts because of their versatility. Often used for underbase on dark fabrics, bold colors on variety of fabric colors and holding details. Also used for medium color inks on medium to light color fabrics.

*180-200 mesh count:  Medium to light inks. Hold details, halftones and spot colors on fabrics sometimes with the help from an underbase. These meshes are good for simulated process printing. Also used for medium to dark color inks on medium to light color fabrics.

*230-305 mesh count: Light inks. Hold fine details, halftones, spot colors on fabrics sometimes with the help from an underbase, and softer hand. These meshes also great for waterbase ink, 4 color process and simulated process printing. Also used for dark color inks on light color fabrics.

It should be noted that text should not be smaller than 6 points or lines should not be smaller than 2 points. The threads of the mesh will block them out, therefore the ink will not flow thru to show them. The lower the mesh count the higher the points of your text or lines need to be to show in your print properly.

Specialty inks or special effects can affect what mesh count to use. Specialty inks tend to have large particles in with the pigment and base or the viscosity of the ink can be runny to break your stir stick thick. Special effects like underbase or halftones affect you mesh counts depending on how the color should look, how smooth the artwork should look or how soft you want the print to feel. Different mesh counts can make the same artwork look different. Make sure you have a variety and Experiment!

Until next month.

Cora Kromer
cora@qdigitizing.com

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