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Article Summary: Mesh Count for Screenprinting Water-based Textile Inks

Improvements in water-based textile screenprinting ink allow the ink to withstand exposure to air without drying as readily on the screen. Previously, water-based inks required a coarse screen to minimize exposure and drying. New formulations can use higher mesh counts, sometimes as high as 305 threads/inch. The same rules for mesh count apply to water-based and plastisol inks. Standard and process colors can be run through high mesh count screens, while more opaque, metallic and glitter inks require coarser screens. 

By using higher mesh counts, less ink is used, less water is applied, and less curing is required, all of which are savings. Use the following table as a guideline for proper mesh count.

Ink Type Mesh Count (threads/inch)
Process 230-305 
Multiprint (std. opacity)  160-280 
Opaque  110-200
Puff 110-200
Metallic  83-200
Glitter  60-160

Author: Denise Breard
Source: SGIA International Tabloid, January, 2000, p. 12.


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