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What is the Difference Between Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth?

Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth are interchangeable terms for woven wire products. Learn their differences and how to choose the best product for your application.

Wire Mesh vs. Wire Cloth

Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth are two common terms used to describe woven wire products. Although people often use these two terms interchangeably, professionals in the industry can differentiate them.

Knowing the differences between Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth can benefit those selecting and using woven wire products. This blog will discuss the main differences between the two Wire Mesh terms. It will also explore the advantages and uses of each term.

A picture of Wire Mesh infill panels as a railing on the side of a bridge.
Wire Mesh offers durability and aesthetic appeal to function as an Infill Panel.

What is Wire Mesh?

Manufacturers create wire mesh by weaving or welding wire strands in square or rectangular patterns. It is also common to find decorative designs in Wire Mesh. Different materials like Steel, Aluminum, and Brass can make Wire Mesh products. They come in various sizes, shapes, and thicknesses.

People commonly use Wire Mesh products in a variety of applications, including fencing, infill panels, filtering, sifting, and straining. While sheets and coils are both available, Wire Mesh often refers to larger openings compared to Wire Cloth and is likely to be offered as a sheet or panel, in addition to a coil.

A sheet of Wire Cloth being used as a pill sifter in a pharmaceutical factory.
Wire Cloth used in the pharmaceutical industry as a pill sifter.

What is Wire Cloth?

Wire cloth typically refers to a product created by weaving wire strands together in a precise and uniform pattern. Manufacturers typically produce wire cloth products from stainless steel, offering a range of sizes and thickness options. Unlike the term Wire Mesh, Wire Cloth is a finer product, with a tighter weave and smaller openings.

Imagine a delicate screen with ultra-thin wires that feel soft to the touch. As the name suggests, its it’s thinner thread-like qualities and tighter weave resemble a fabric or cloth wound up in a roll. You can cut it to your desired length and size. Wire Cloth's superior qualities make it perfect for precise filtering and straining needs in industries like food and pharmaceuticals.

What are the benefits of Wire Mesh?

One of the key benefits of Wire Mesh is its versatility. People use Wire Mesh in a wide range of applications, ranging from simple filtering, sifting, and shaking to more complex straining and separating tasks. Wire Mesh products are also durable and long-lasting, making them an ideal choice for use in high-stress environments.

What are the benefits of Wire Cloth?

On the other hand, Wire Cloth is renowned for its precise filtering and straining capabilities. Wire Cloth products have smaller openings than Wire Mesh products, which makes them ideal for use in applications where precise filtration is required. Furthermore, Wire Cloth products typically consist of high-quality materials like stainless steel, which grants them resistance to corrosion and renders them ideal for use in medical or food-grade environments.

How to choose between Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth?

When it comes to selecting between Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth, it's important to consider the specific requirements of your application. If you need a product that is durable, versatile, and can handle a wide range of applications, Wire Mesh may be the best choice for you. However, if you need a product that is capable of precise filtering and straining, Wire Cloth is the better option.

People often use Wire Mesh and Wire Cloth interchangeably within the broader category of Wire Mesh. Some of the differences around opening size and wire gauge can differentiate the two terms and each offers unique benefits and applications. Whether you're looking for a versatile and durable product or a precise and high-quality product, there's a wire product that can meet your specific needs.

McNICHOLS is the largest supplier of Specialty Metals in the nation, including Wire Mesh. McNICHOLS carries an extensive selection of mesh and opening sizes, wire diameters, and patterns.

Order select Wire Mesh items online today or contact us at 855.318.8791, [email protected], or via Live Chat on