Mesh Count

Mesh count is simply stated the number of threads of mesh in a given inch, (or cm). Different meshes yield different results and the variety allows the printer to control factors such as amount of ink deposited and moire patterning. The threads on lower mesh counts are thicker than on higher meshes and can be stretched tighter without risk of the screen ripping. Lower meshes are used primarily for simple spot color work, especially where heavier coverage is needed, such as light ink on a dark shirt. Higher mesh counts are used for halftone printing or detailed line work where resolution is important. Interference or moire patterns in offset occasionally occur between ink colors themselves but screen printers must battle with moire showing up in the intersection of the halftone pattern and the mesh weave, as well as the shirt weave. Higher mesh counts create a tighter and less apparent patterning effect, but allow less ink to flow. This is why coverage in colors with halftones can be difficult and why the screen printing industry is so curious about FM screening techniques.