Mesh Fabric – History and Applications

Mesh Fabric

Mesh fabric is a barrier material that is produced from connected strands. These strands can be crafted from fibers, from metal, or any flexible material. The connected threads of the mesh produce a web-like net that has many different uses and applications. Mesh fabric can be highly durable, strong, and flexible. They are known for, and commonly used in scenarios where liquid, air and fine particulate needs permeability.

Mesh fabric is fabricated most commonly from stainless steel, copper, bronze, polyester (or nylon) and polypropylene. As the fibers are woven together, they create a very flexible, net-type finish that has a tremendous range of end-uses. It can be used in so many industries, including: the food industry; waste water industry (separating waste and sludge from water); hygiene and sanitary industry; pharmaceutical industry; the medical industry (supporting internal organs and tissues); paper industry; and the transportation industry.

Mesh fabric can come in many different sizes, and are clearly numbered for understanding. For instance, a 4-mesh screen indicates that there are 4 “squares” across one linear inch of the screen. A 100-mesh screen simply indicates that there are 100 openings across one linear inch, and so on. To determine the mesh size, count the number of rows of mesh squares within that measured one inch linear space. This will provide the mesh size, and which is the number of openings per inch. Sometimes, mesh size could be detailed as 18×16, which defines that there are 18 holes across and 16 rows of openings down within each 1 inch square.

Mesh fabric particle size, however, is an indication of what size of matter can permeate and pass through the mesh screen. For instance, a 6-mesh powder contains particles that can pass through a 6 mesh screen.

The history of mesh fabric can be traced back to 1888, when a British mill owner bore into product the concept of a clean and breathable material that could withstand temperature changes. As the yarns are knitted or woven together, and with the open spaces between the yarn strands, it is a great material for apparel and fashion, and has been used in such finished products as dresses, wraps, gloves and scarves over the last century. When wet or dry, the material has great crocking values (which simply means that the dyes will not rub off). Mesh is also very easy to sew with.

Mesh fabric for securing areas
Mesh fabric for securing areas

Uses and applications of mesh fabric

  • Vacuum belt filters in automotive and manufacturing applications
  • Due to its breath-ability, water and moisture can pass through and evaporate, which makes this ideal for swim bags, laundry bags and backpacks.
  • Mesh is often used as a mosquito controlling barrier and for other insects when overlay-ed and placed on windows and screens.
  • Metal and nylon wire mesh filters are used in filtration.
  • Wire mesh belts
  • Apparel, such as scarves, vests, hats and gloves
  • Wire mesh is used in guarding for secure areas and as protection in the form of vandal screens.
  • Pocket and bag liners
  • Mesh fabric for wind tunnel screens
  • Mesh fabric can be used for eye protection in masks
  • Drying foods and drying powders on wire cloth belts
  • Sieving and also transporting foods
  • Garden tarps to keep bugs and birds away from the vegetation
  • Tennis court screens
  • Wire mesh can be fabricated to produce park benches, waste baskets and other baskets for material handling.
  • Woven meshes used in screen printing
  • Surgical mesh is often used to provide a reinforcing structure in surgical procedures, such as umbilical hernia repair or inguinal hernioplasty. This mesh fabric can be permanent or non-permanent (dissolving in the body over time).
  • Meshes are used as drum heads in electronic drum sets.
  • Fencing and containment for livestock and poultry
  • Mesh can be used for the humane capturing of wild animals and rodents
Mesh Fabric for Bags
Mesh Fabric for Bags and Backpacks

At Canvas Etc., we carry a very broad range of mesh in many different colors and types. Explore for yourself the many end-uses and applications of this great material and its exceptional water repellent and flame resistant attributes by visiting our product pages here.

Mesh Fabric for Mosquito Netting
Mesh Fabric for Mosquito Netting