When referring to fabrics used for screen printing, polyester fabric is usually meant (or, less often, polyamide fabric), and, further, ones which have special characteristics in terms of stability and mesh size. The geometry of the fabric influences the printability of the finest details, the sharpness of lines and the thickness of ink application.
This screen printing fabric is a truly high quality polyester material; it is manufactured in Switzerland according to very close tolerances in regards to mesh size and stability. With its thread count of 43 per centimeter it sets the standard for fabric that can be used in combination with inks (water and solvent based) for fine printing.
Plain weave (PW) with a weft-warp ration of 1:1 is the usual weave type. Twill weave (TW) has a ratio of 2:1. “Warp” refers to the lengthwise threads of a fabric, while “weft” refers to the crosswise threads.
The openness factor refers to the total of all the mesh openings expressed as a percentage of the entire surface area of the fabric.
The theoretical colour volume is a calculation utilizing the screen openness factor and the thickness of the fabric. It identifies the amount of ink that can be accommodated when the distribution in the mesh openings is optimal; it is thereby, on the one hand, a guide for the thickness of the colour application and, on the other, for the ink usage (amount that can be expected to be consumed).
The lower the number of threads per centimeter, the courser the fabric and therefore the higher the amount of colour application on the printed material. In the case on non-absorbent substrates like metal or glass, a fine screen should be used for a thin colour application. When printing on textiles or paper, larger meshes are usually used.
Here are some applicable broad categories:
Up to 50 threads/cm: water and solvent based inks, tending towards higher colour application, print on paperboard, textiles, etc, usually used for larger surface areas
Up to 80 threads/cm: solvent based inks and to some extent water based inks, medium colour application, print on paperboard, textiles, plastic, glass, metal…
Over 80 threads/cm: solvent based inks, thin colour application for very highly detailed results, print on non-absorbable surfaces (plastic, glass, metal…)