​The differences in screen printing mesh count?

24th Mar 2022

​The differences in screen printing mesh count?

When looking at screens for screen printing you may notice two different numbers for the same screen. These are UK and US types of measurements. In the UK, the ‘T count’ refers to the number of threads per centimetre. In the US, the number refers to the number of threads per inch. As it’s based on a larger area, the US number is always higher.

A quick note, mesh will either be yellow or white in colour. The difference here is that the yellow mesh absorbs more light compared to white mesh. It stops light scattering, therefore helping expose intricate details in designs.

A little reminder. Different mesh counts will hold different amounts of emulsion, this is due to the size difference in the holes and variation in thread thickness on coarser mesh counts. Therefore a lower mesh count will hold a higher amount of emulsion. But don’t worry, the difference isn’t extreme. You may just need to change up exposure times ever so slightly to allow for the amount of emulsion on the screen. More emulsion on the screen, means longer exposure times

Now, let’s discuss the differences in the most commonly used mesh counts.

UK 32T / US 80

  • Low mesh count.
  • Useful for printing bold designs as it allows more ink to be pushed through the screen.
  • Used for specialist inks such as Glitter or Flakes (this allows the larger particles to be deposited on the substrate)
  • Most suited to paper printing, does NOT always give the best result on fabric

What ink can I use with 32T/80 mesh?

  • Specialty inks
  • White plastisol
  • Low bleed
  • Poly inks

UK 43T / US 110

  • The most commonly used mesh
  • Ideal for printing bold/solid designs on fabric
  • Lay down a moderate deposit of ink
  • Perfect for printing an under base
  • Use with either waterbased or plastisol ink

What ink can I use with 43T/110 mesh?

  • Specialty inks
  • Standard plastisol
  • White plastisol
  • Low bleed
  • Poly inks
  • Glow in the dark
  • Standard Waterbased
  • Hybrid Wasterbased
  • Discharge ink

UK 55T / US 140

  • Perfect for printing on fabric when a little more detail is required

What ink can I use with 55T/140 mesh?

  • Specialty inks
  • Standard plastisol
  • White plastisol
  • Low bleed
  • Poly inks
  • Glow in the dark
  • Hybrid Wasterbased
  • Discharge ink

UK 62T / US 156

  • This is a medium mesh count
  • Good for printing a fine detail or halftone onto fabric.
  • Can be used when printing onto paper.

What ink can I use with 62T/156 mesh?

  • Standard plastisol
  • Standard waterbased
  • White plastisol
  • Low bleed
  • Poly inks
  • Glow in the dark
  • Hybrid Wasterbased
  • Discharge ink

UK 77T / US 196

  • Fantastic for finer detail
  • Good for printing on lightweight garments
  • Still good for printing on paper and card

What ink can I use with 77T/196 mesh?

  • Standard plastisol
  • Standard waterbased
  • White plastisol
  • Low bleed
  • Poly inks
  • Glow in the dark
  • Hybrid Wasterbased
  • Discharge ink

UK 90T / US 230

  • The most common mesh used for printing higher detailed designs
  • Great for top layer prints, leaving behind a thinner coat of ink
  • Use for both fabric and paper printing
  • Use when printing on delicate fabrics
  • Used for when you need a soft hand feel
  • Great when printing discharge inks

What ink can I use with 90T/230 mesh?

  • Standard plastisol
  • Standard waterbased
  • White plastisol
  • Poly inks
  • Hybrid Waterbased
  • Solvent Based Graphic Inks

UK 120T / US 305

  • The ultimate for printing finer details
  • Use for printing halftones and small-sized text
  • More control over the ink deposit
  • Mainly used for graphic printing

What ink can I use with 120T/305 mesh?

  • Standard plastisol
  • Solvent Based Graphic Inks

Now you know what screen mesh you need for the job, head to our online shop to purchase.