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I'm a newbie and I'm not sure what mesh count I need. I am using water based ink, and I'm only going to use one or two colors, three at the most.

I saw a video on Ryonet's youtube channel where they advised the use of 280, 230, or 305 mesh for water based environline inks. I have water based ink, not the environline water based ink and I don't know if that makes a difference.

And when I do a search on this forum, I see people are recommending those same mesh counts for a full cmjk water based printing, but I don't understand the different printing processes and I'm not sure if I'm doing the cmjk method or not. I know I was going to use Corel Draw and print my image on to a transparency film with an inkjet printer. But, I'm not sure which method you would call that.

I'm not doing any of that foil or glitter junk so I don't need large deposits to go through the screen. I'm guessing I should go with 280 or 305 but I wanted to make sure that's what others would recommend in my case. What do you think?
 

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Let me see if I can help,
As far as processes in screen printing, the dominate one is called Spot Color printing, basically this means you are printing specific spot colors that are pre-mixed to match a certain color. The other process is called "process" and it is where you print CMYK and by printing the inks near each other you can simulate other colors (think of inkjet or paper printing). Usually screen printers use process printing to do real life images or where the print would require more than a dozen colors.

For mesh counts, since waterbase inks have a tenancy to dry in the screen, more open mesh counts (smaller number) are usually better. Also, a more open mesh will allow for better saturation and coverage.
We suggest a 110-160 mesh.

I hope this helps point you in the right direction.
Good luck,
 

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Yes what you will be doing is spot colors, don't worry about anything else.

Depends on how thick (different brands are different consistency)the ink you are using is, and the type of art you are printing. For finer detail you want a finer mesh, if you use something like a 110 could end up with some pixelated looking edges on the curved portions of your art, or general blurriness because you are laying down a fair amount of ink.

The lowest mesh i use is 156 and that's with discharge, because you want to lay down more ink with discharge. With general water based ink on light shirts i use 230, and have seen 305 used with artwork with a lot of detail.

Personally i'd recommend a 230 to start with, i'd rather have to do a couple passes than lay down too much ink. I would air on the side of higher mesh count, you can always put more ink down, but you can't take it off once it's put on the shirt.

There are water based ink designed for light garments (transparent) and those designed for dark garments (opaque), 230 for transparent, 156 for opaque.

The more info your provide the more someone can help you, you artwork, actual ink you are using, etc.
 

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I didn't realize there were two different kinds of water based inks depending on whether you are printing on light or dark garments.

I just bought some water based ink from Speedball, and it just says 'Fabric Screen Printing Ink on it'. Might be cheap stuff, I don't know. It does say to mix with Speedball Transparency Base for transparency. What do they mean by transparent? They surely don't mean that you can see through the ink. Why would you want that?

If by transparent they just mean that the the color will lighten up some, then that is what I want. I don't want a dark black but a light black that doesn't stand out as much. I would like to do the same thing with white ink.

I will mostly be printing on light colored shirts, but I don't want to be limited to just light colored shirts.
 

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I like 158s and 195s for waterbased. Maybe it's me, but getting waterbased ink through the higher mesh counts is tough. Seems like it would be easier. I use Matsui, for what it's worth, which I think is what Ryonet's inks are under their own label.
 

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I like 158s and 195s for waterbased. Maybe it's me, but getting waterbased ink through the higher mesh counts is tough. Seems like it would be easier. I use Matsui, for what it's worth, which I think is what Ryonet's inks are under their own label.
Dang, why does that Ryonet have to relabel EVERYTHING then claim it is somehow the best product available!
 

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umm, all reseller companies do same thing. Dell dont make anything. There just a name brand.
Dont wanna ruin it for ya but Kim Kardashian doesnt spend her days making clothes and perfumes, Cindy Crawford has never made a couch but her ads say she owns a line of furniture.
Its adverlieing. <<<-----Trademark pending

Bronco Burger (fast Times Ridgemont High) mixed Ketchup and Mayo called it their own secret sauce
 

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The lowest mesh i use is 156 and that's with discharge, because you want to lay down more ink with discharge. With general water based ink on light shirts i use 230, and have seen 305 used with artwork with a lot of detail.

Personally i'd recommend a 230 to start with, i'd rather have to do a couple passes than lay down too much ink. I would air on the side of higher mesh count, you can always put more ink down, but you can't take it off once it's put on the shirt.

This has been my experience with waterbased / discharge inks. I reserve 110s only for very coarse / deep knitted textiles, like fleeces, some hoodies, some (not all) tote bags.. But in my experience, 110 lets too much ink through for a normal textile, and lacks the detail required for most of the designs we print. "Dot gain" is also a larger issue with lower mesh screens (110 - 150). Our shop also has begun doing lots of dither / simulated process jobs, which is made so much easier with discharge / waterbased ink, as opposed to plastisol. You can achieve a no feel, full color image on a black cotton shirt using 230 screens and index/ simulated process separations.. I make all my dither separations at 150 dpi on 230 screens, no problem... 150 dpi can easily be scaled up to the standard 300 dpi with zero discrepancy.. so you can incorporate nice crispy 300 dpi text over a dither without losing quality. The discharge simulated process is a hell of a lot better and easier than underbasing an image on dark shirts...


That said, I use 150s for prints with large open areas of ink, which could be difficult to hand print through a 230.. I only do push strokes and hand printing.. The push stroke really helps drive the ink into the shirt, but you have to print with great finesse in order for the squeegee not to "shudder" mid stroke. This can almost always be avoided by finding the vertical right angle, speed, and horizontal angle for the squeegee, however sometimes it just makes way more sense to go with a 150. For high coverage prints, a 150 is far smoother to print with, and requires less finesse than a 230, without sacrificing much image quality. A 150 requires one solid print stroke, whereas a 230 typically requires 2 print strokes. However, when printing a dither or halftone image through a 150, you can expect a lot of the dot clarity to be lost, particularly in darker areas, due to dot gain. With a 230 and proper technique, you can get the required ink saturation for waterbased / discharge without sacrificing print quality
 

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I use Permaset and Union waterbased inks only and my range of screen mesh is 110 for hats and 160 for the bulk of my shirts and 230 on fine detail. I always will keep a spray bottle of distilled water to keep both the 160 and 230 screens wet while printing. I find that depending on design and detail determines how often I need to give the screen a quick spray. I would also say that wet stroke is pull and print stroke is push for myself. I also have found through trial and error that keeping with one supplier for emulsion, mesh prep, Emulsion Remover and wash has saved me a ton of headaches. I use Ulano Blue and never have I had to add a hardener because I use waterbased. My prep is Ulanogel #23 and emulsion remover #5 along with their all purpose ink wash. To purchase just on price will get you all the time just like purchases from companies who relabel products as their own. Like I said I found out the hard and costly way because when problems arose I got thousands of answers as to why. I went to Ulano told them what screens and mesh and colour I use and light source along with ink manufactures and they gave me all the answers like a blueprint to succeed.
 
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