The Best Mesh for Silkscreen Prints
Polyester monofilament is the best choice for textile screen printing.
Polyester is the most common for garment printing. Two different types of mesh weaves are available. Plain weave is a simple one-over/one-under pattern similar to a basket. This allows for a very sharp print when you are screen printing detailed designs. Twill weave is a two-over/two-under pattern. This does not provide the sharp detail like the plain weave but it does allow for more ink to pass through the mesh at higher mesh counts. Most applications are best when printed with plain weave mesh.
Thread thickness is also very important. You may not realize it but many mesh counts that you order are available in different thread sizes. For example,43t mesh count is available in a thread thickness of 60, 80, and 100 microns. The 43t mesh count screen with 80micron thread best tension at (27 to 32 N/cm). the tighter screens for high-end printing , you also must consider the ink deposit between the different screens. Even though they are all 43tcount screens, they all have different theoretical ink deposits on different fabric thickness.
Mesh colour is also something to consider.
Customers often ask what the difference is between white and dyed mesh. White mesh has a tendency to refract light. This causes undercutting of your stencil and you can lose important detail. Yellow mesh reduces refraction because it reduces the travel of ultraviolet light. Dyed mesh will take a longer exposure time but it is a small price to pay when you could be losing fine lines and half-tones, so printing through meshes over 100T dyed mesh is preferred.
Using proper mesh tensioning procedures will allow for optimum print control and performance. It is important to understand that one definitive mesh tensioning level does not exist. Every mesh count, every thread diameter, and every thread material may tension at different levels.