T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hi!
I've silkscreened before but I've never had to buy my own equipment (I used my high school's). Now that I'm on my own, I understand everything except mesh count. I had previously used multifilament screen at probably 12xx or 14xx mesh count. I'd like to try monofilament since it yields a more detailed result, but I'm having a hard time deciding which count to buy. I'll be printing one-color halftones, simple geometric patterns, and some fine pen drawings. I'll be using Speedball water-based textile ink. Dickblick says that they're okay with 74-124 count, but I have a feeling I have to have a higher thread count for halftones and pen drawings. Can I go higher than 124 without making the process difficult (clogging, drying, inability to push the ink through)? Suggestions?
Thanks!
rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
I've been practicing screen printing getting my site up and have played around with low and high mesh counts...here's what I've found.

Low mesh counts work well on stencils with not a lot of detail. If your image has more detail or halftones I'd use a higher mesh count.

Right now I have 110's and 135's. The 135's seem to hold up well even on dark shirts letting enough ink through and the capillary film I'm using seems to work better on them. I'm going to buy some 165's and see how those work. After reading more thoroughly about my film vs. mesh I found that they work better on 150 mesh counts and up.

If you're doing halftones you could easily go up into the 200's. Just keep in mind the higher the mesh count the less ink comes through so if you're printing on darks you will probably have to hit the ink then spot dry it then hit the same stencil again to put a heavier deposit on top of the first layer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Though I am not in printing but we produce printing meshes, here are some information I think useful for you.

What mesh should be used (Textile Printers)

Ink manufactures and every screen printer on earth has their own ideas as to what mesh should be used. We will give you our idea of mesh count usage, but feel free to make your own list.
Athletic inks- 62-85 mesh
Glitter- 38 mesh
Maxopake- 74-125 mesh
Process- 305-355 mesh
Shimmers- 60--86 mesh (Black-110 mesh)
Ultrasoft inks- 86-305
White ink- 68-230 (New 81sd really lets the ink through)
Solvent/UV-230 on up

To assist you in making your own list, think of mesh this way. Light color material needs less ink layer to cover, so use higher mesh counts. Darker color materials need a thicker ink layer, so use lower mesh counts. Remember, thicker ink layers require more cure time.
Printers using a manual press should stay between 38 and 125, maybe 158 mesh. Any mesh higher than say 196 requires a lot of strength to push the ink through. Now automatic press owners, can use the full range of mesh counts, and should use them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Printers using a manual press should stay between 38 and 125, maybe 158 mesh. Any mesh higher than say 196 requires a lot of strength to push the ink through. Now automatic press owners, can use the full range of mesh counts, and should use them.[/quote]

I am getting so much conflicting info on mesh counts. I want to print cmyk processed waterbased inks on a manual 4 color machine. It seems the most common response is to use 250-305 mesh and yes it can be done at home on a manual press. Others say no higher than 150 like you say above. I have also heard that you can buy additives and mix it with the ink to keep it from drying to fast but I am confused on the manual press and high mesh counts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
The reason your hearing so much conflicting advice is because there is no "right" way to do this. There is only one person's way versus the others. You would be hard pressed to get the kind of detail you need for process printing on mesh counts below 195. But printing on high mesh counts manually is a lot more difficult than on an auto and might require more than one stroke to put enough ink on the garment.

There are tips and techniques that help manual printers get ink through 305's with ease. I did a black process ink print on a white hankerchief the other day with one stroke through a 305. Do a hard fill/flood stroke pulling the squeegee, then push stroke the ink through the screen. It's easier to get the ink through using this method. I also printed maxo gold through a 125 yesterday using the same pull fill/flood stroke and push print stroke and only needed one hand with my fingertips on the squeegee to clear the screen with one stroke, maybe had 5 pounds of pressure on the squeegee blade.

One other reason there are so many different ways to print a shirt is because there are so many different views on what prints are considered good or bad. I might think another persons prints, using different methods looks like crap, while he might thing my work is shoddy. The final analysis of a print is so subjective that there will never be a universally accepted printing technique or method, especially when it comes to which mesh count to use.

I have used many different mesh counts for various repeat jobs that we do and I have a great understanding as to what mesh counts make those prints look the best. But, once again, it's subjective. I've seen shirts at stores and on people's backs that I would have never let leave my shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
485 Posts
(not yet rated for general audiences)

Mesh count can be best understood thinking about the thread diameter if you're considering printing fine details.
If the thread is big, your fine line or dot and your image edge will suffer, if it is smaller it will not.
But the finer and smaller mesh + thread also transfers less ink, so it's hard to get the best of both worlds.

Notice as the mesh goes higher the thread gets smaller, but not near as much:
86t= 100m
110t= 80m
160t= 64m
200t= 54m
250t= 40m
305t= 40m
355t= 35m

So, when you get above 250t fine detail capability is largely similar.
Above 160t, you can print "detail" but 15-20% less detailed than above 250t.
At that point, using a dyed yellow mesh instead of white will allow better detail but exposure is 1.5 to 2 time longer.
Additionally, the thinner the emulsion coating, the more it can open a fine line or dot. but once again is limited by the thread size.

As a result of the rate of change in mesh count vs. thread size, the 250 mesh, for example,
has the unique aspect of being a 305t with 50 less threads per inch,
so the open area is like a 180-200 mesh for improved ink flow and deposit.

No doubt some of you are also aware that Mesh Class 102 teaches you of different thread diameters available for the same mesh count,
and the definition of 305s, 305t, and 305hd. and how important mesh tension is, even for improving fine detail printing.

But this is certainly overkill for this discussion.
Still, for those who want more detail (pardon the pun), here is the chart:
(keep away from children and small pets):rolleyes:
[media]http://www.advancedscreenprintsupply.com/Murakami%20smartmesh%20specifications.pdf[/media]

......and here's a general guideline of mesh recommendations to revisit for those that actually read through this long post:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/screen-printing-equipment/t96132.html

My apologies, and Happy trails!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
There are tips and techniques that help manual printers get ink through 305's with ease. I did a black process ink print on a white hankerchief the other day with one stroke through a 305. Do a hard fill/flood stroke pulling the squeegee, then push stroke the ink through the screen.

I am so sorry for this stupid question but do you mean to flood the screen before you apply to the garment then place on garment and do a flood stroke with pressure?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Doesn't it come down to what the customer sees in the garment. Might look like crap to me but to the customer it looks great. They are the ones paying for it, so if it looks good to them doesn't matter what it looks like to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,810 Posts
Blade vs. Mesh resistance


Pressure Eventually Bends the Blade
Above is an example of precious ink in the stencil. Push and stomp as hard as you can and MAKE THE INK COME OUT OF THE HOLE.

The ink laughs at you as you chew your spinach and try to show the ink who's boss.

Little 6 year old Jennifer can make the the ink leave - she uses 2 fingers and LIFTS THE STENCIL OUT OF THE INK FILM.

It's the job of the mesh to resist the blade and the job of the blade to overcome the mesh to come in contact with the substrate so the ink transfers through the like toothpaste from a tube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
hello everyone
we in india are getting screen mesh in sizes such as 18no. 20. and 35 superfine and its difficult to understand the mesh count can anyone has idea how to calculate the mesh count (not by counting thread per inch)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,534 Posts
There are tips and techniques that help manual printers get ink through 305's with ease. I did a black process ink print on a white hankerchief the other day with one stroke through a 305. Do a hard fill/flood stroke pulling the squeegee, then push stroke the ink through the screen.

I am so sorry for this stupid question but do you mean to flood the screen before you apply to the garment then place on garment and do a flood stroke with pressure?
No amount of tips and techniques can push an ink designed for 120 mesh though a 200 mesh. An unstoppable train and an immovable object just cannot co-exists. We are actually talking about the solids in the ink too big to get through mesh holes with relative ease. However, there are inks that are designed to go through 305/350 meshes on an automatic press but can be printed with 180-230 mesh on a manual press. On 230, even 250 meshes, the printing process gets more difficult as the printing drags on due to human fatigue. Some tips and techniques can help your get them through higher mesh counts because these inks can get through the higher mesh counts in the first place.


Alan is right. There is really no correct answer. The right mesh/ink type depends on a host of variables. However, allow me to share some thoughts.

From your question, I think you need something better than a 120 mesh can offer. I also think you need to inks. Find a good supplier and visit them. I would suggest you talk with a few first and ask them for waterbase inks that are recommended for 180-200 mesh screens. I am sorry I cannot recommend any brand as I am not familiar with the brands available in the US. Maybe you can search other threads for that.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top