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What mesh is right for me?

by Ronny Garcia on November 14, 2018

To get high-quality screen printing, one of the things you should pay attention to is the numbering of the mesh you use on your screens.

malla serigrafia

What exactly is mesh numbering?

It is the number of threads that cross each other per inch or centimeter on the screen. For example, if you have a 190-inch mesh that means there are 190 threads crossing per inch, 190 inches equals 90 threads per centimeter.

The more threads cross each other per inch or centimeter, the finer the holes in the screen and the greater the number of meshes it has. The more threads, the more definition in the print.

What should we take into account when choosing a type of mesh?

There are two things that we have to take into account when choosing the size of the mesh, the detail of the print that we want to achieve or the design requires us and the thickness of the ink that we are going to use.

We'll talk about the details of the print first. When you have a design with a lot of detail, you need a mesh with more threads, that is more closed. If you use a more open, low-wire mesh, the lines or dots in the image would fall through the holes and you would not be able to print all the details.

tintas serigrafía malla

Second, the denser the ink you are using, the fewer the number of meshes you should use. A denser ink can be pushed through a lower screen much easier than an upper screen. The fewer threads there are means that the holes in the mesh are larger and more ink will pass through.
For example, to print with Acramine water-based ink we can work with meshes of 77 threads per centimeter or even 90 threads per centimeter, but with Lacquer water-based inks we cannot do it with meshes greater than 62 threads since the ink is denser and not it will be able to pass well through the holes in the fine mesh.

Orientative guide

43 threads per centimeter / 110T
The 43 thread mesh allows you to deposit a fairly thick layer of ink. This mesh works well for text lettering and designs with thick dots. It also helps us to better cover the fabric if we have to print a large stain.
You can use acramine water based inks, lacquer and also plastisol inks.

61 threads per centimeter / 156T
You also get a thick layer of ink, but it allows you to have a more detailed print than 43-thread mesh. It is also ideal for low viscosity ink because the mesh does not allow too much ink to pass through the screen.
You can use acramine water based inks, lacquer and also plastisol inks. 

90 threads / 230T
Now we are beginning to open up to other types of designs. With this mesh we will obtain many details and we can only use them with not very dense inks.
You can use acramine water-based inks. Paper and pvc inks, also plastisol inks. 

120 threads / 305T
This mesh is one of the ones that will give us the greatest definition, and we can also do some four-color work using special CMYK inks.
You can use paper and pvc inks, also plastisol inks. Depending on the design, you can also use acramine inks.

Threads per centimeter / Threads per inch

43T = 110 
54T = 135 
64T = 160 
77T = 190 
90T = 230 
110T = 280 
120T = 305 
140T = 355 
150T = 380 
165T = 420