S-Mesh Versus T-Mesh

In high-end screen printing, we now use more often the S-Mesh instead of the T-Mesh.
As it has better coverage and most printers use it for the underbase.
But not only for the underbase, as especially for water base ink, but it also shears easier with less pressure.
The result is not only better opacity, but a softer hand too.

I made a brief video to show the contrast

S-Mesh Versus T-Mesh | Screen Printing Tutorial in 1 Minute

Why Professional Screen Printer uses an S-Mesh

  • Better Opacity
  • Less Ink Usage
  • Less Emulsion Consumption
  • Soft hand
  • Less Squeegee Pressure
  • The ink shears through the fabric more easily
  • Better Opacity
    • S-Mesh provides superior coverage than T-Mesh. This is because S-Mesh has a more refined threading, which allows for a tighter and more consistent ink distribution on the material. This means designs printed with S-Mesh appear more vivid and solid.
  • Underbase Preference
    • Experienced printers now lean towards using S-Mesh for the underbase. The underbase, a foundational layer of ink printed before other colors, is crucial in achieving vibrant prints, especially on darker garments.
  • Water Base Ink Compatibility
    • When it comes to water-based ink, a type of ink known for its soft feel and eco-friendliness, S-Mesh is a game-changer. The fineness of S-Mesh allows the watery consistency of this ink to shear (or pass through) more easily, requiring less pressure. This means a smoother printing process and less wear on the equipment.
  • Benefits for the Final Print
    • Better Opacity: As mentioned, the design will be looking brighter and more solid, making prints more appealing and professional-looking.
    • Soft Hand: S-Mesh facilitates a smoother ink lay-down, ensuring that the printed design lays well onto the fabric. As a result, the print is less “plasticky” or rough, leading to a softer touch or “hand.”
  • Efficiency and Usage:
    • Less Ink Usage: The precision of S-Mesh fine amount of ink passes through, saving ink.
    • Less Emulsion Consumption: Emulsion, used to create the stencil, can be applied in thinner layers with S-Mesh due to its fine mesh count. This results in savings both in terms of material and drying time.
    • Less Squeegee Pressure: The reduced pressure not only means a smoother printing process but also extends the lifespan of the squeegee and reduces fatigue for the printer.

However, with its fine threading, S-Mesh is more delicate than T-Mesh. This requires printers to handle it with more care to prevent damage, especially during the cleaning process.

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35 years of screen printing have taught me a lot. I would like others to benefit from this as well. I strive for accuracy, use professional writing aids, and personally review all content. Affiliate links marked with (#) support my work without incurring additional costs. If you have a question or suggestion, please leave a comment. Thank you for your support!

Over the decades, I've had the privilege of printing for a range of clients, from startups to recognized brands like:

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2 thoughts on “S-Mesh Versus T-Mesh”

  1. Hey there,
    Thanks so much for the youtube clip, That helped a lot, I actually love the S MESH screens but and new to using it. I just wanted to know if you have on your hands a S MESH CHART, So I can compare it to the T MESH counts in which one I should use.?
    Hear from you soon

    Kind Regards


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