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Nowadays, consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before. This growing trend has led to an increased demand for eco-friendly t-shirt printing techniques and sustainable fabrics. As a union custom t-shirt printing shop, STL Shirt Co. takes pride in being at the forefront of these practices. Our screen printing, embroidery, and design services are done entirely in-house using the latest eco-friendly technologies and sustainable fabrics.
STL Shirt Co.’s Eco-Friendly T-Shirt Printing Techniques
Traditional t-shirt printing techniques often involve the use of chemicals and dyes that can be harmful to the environment. However, STL Shirt Co. steers clear of those techniques and uses only eco-friendly water-based inks. These inks do not contain harmful chemicals and do not require solvents, which reduces the amount of waste produced during the printing process, keeping our union staff and customers safe.
Water-based ink provides a softer feel and lays down a thin, soft, flexible layer of ink on the garment that will still hold up after countless washes. These inks significantly reduce the environmental impact of the t-shirt printing process. We also utilize digital files for the creation of intricate designs and patterns for your custom t-shirts, minimizing our footprint.
STL Shirt Co.’s Use Of Sustainable Fabrics
Sustainable fabrics are becoming increasingly popular among customers who are concerned about the environmental impact of the clothing industry. One option for those looking for the best fabrics for their custom t-shirts is organic cotton. This type of cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Organic cotton farming practices also prioritize water conservation, making it a more sustainable choice.
Another sustainable fabric option is recycled polyester, which is made from recycled plastic bottles and reduces the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or the ocean. This fabric is also easier to recycle than traditional polyester, making it a more sustainable option.
Importance of Union Printing Practices
Union practices are essential for ensuring fair working conditions and worker safety. These practices prioritize the rights of workers and ensure they are paid fair wages for their work. We take great pride in being a union shop and we can ensure that our products are made in an ethical and socially responsible way. Our workers are treated fairly and their rights are respected, which leads to a better working environment for everyone and a better product for our customers.
We are members of the Allied Printers Union, which supports union screen printing, embroidery, signage, sticker and banner printing, as well as other similar industries. By buying products from STL Shirt Co., you are allowing us to support our union workers with fair pay and benefits, which in turn supports our local community and the U.S. economy.
The Union Home of Eco-Friendly T-Shirt Printing Techniques and Sustainable Fabrics | STL Shirt Co.
Thankfully, as the world becomes more environmentally conscious, it is essential that t-shirt printing shops and others like us adapt and evolve to meet changing expectations. By prioritizing eco-friendly printing techniques and relying on sustainable fabrics and union practices, STL Shirt Co. stands out from the competition in a crowded marketplace. If you value social responsibility and environmental sustainability, we’d love to discuss your next project.
So, you want to promote your exciting new brand? Or maybe you just want to outfit your cousins for photo ops at your family reunion? Whatever the reason, a custom t-shirt printed by STL Shirt Co. is the way to go.
You might be wondering what the process is for creating and printing a custom t-shirt. No problem – we’re here to help. Call us right away at 636-926-2777 or request a quote online. The following is a step-by-step guide for creating and printing a custom t-shirt from start to finish:
Step 1: Get a Design
You don’t want to print a great custom t-shirt without a great design. What’s the point? That family reunion will be lame because Aunt Josephine balks at the monotony of anything plain, and cousin Jimmy sweats too much for a plain white tee. Take your time creating a design that reflects your brand identity, or your family’s glorious intricacies. Don’t have a design yet? No worries, just chat with our team for inspiration regarding design ideas.
Pro tip: Remember that your design needs to work with whatever color you choose for your t-shirt – a design with dark colors won’t show up well on a dark blue or black t-shirt.
Step 2: Figure Out Your Quantity and Budget
Before you get too deep into the printing process, identify your estimated quantity and budget. As with any type of printing, ordering a larger quantity will reduce the cost per item. But, no matter if you need 10 or 10,000, STL Shirt Co. can get the job done. We also specialize in rush services, should you happen to procrastinate a bit too much. Just give us a call at 636-926-2777 or reach out for an online quote. In addition to overall quantity, identify which sizes you’ll need and how many of each.
Pro tip: STL Shirt Co. can help in the sizing realm with our T-Shirt Sizing: The Ultimate Guide For Group Orders.
Step 3: Choose Your Printer and Printing Method
When it comes to printing a custom t-shirt and deciding on the right method, differences in cost, appearance, and materials will all come into play. STL Shirt Co. has been printing t-shirts since 1975. You can expect nothing but the best union-made quality printed apparel from us. We screen print custom t-shirts because it is the gold standard for t-shirt printing. We make original screens of your t-shirt design, allowing you to print in bulk.
Pro tip: Screen printing at STL Shirt Co. is reliable, affordable, and high-quality. We are the top provider of union printing services of screen printed garments throughout the St. Louis area. Discuss your custom t-shirt printing plans with us by calling 636-926-2777 or starting your order online now.
Step 4: Choose a Fabric and T-Shirt Type
First and foremost, a t-shirt should be comfortable. Keep this in mind when exploring fabric options for your new design. You can view some of the pros and cons of the different styles of fabrics to see what might work best for you. The professionals at STL Shirt Co. are happy to help determine which fabrics will work with your quantity and budget. In addition to fabric, you’ll need to settle on a shirt type.
Pro tip: Whether it’s a V-neck, a crewneck, a singlet, a ringer, a scoop-neck, or even a muscle, think about your target audience and intended goals before deciding the right type of t-shirt. What’s the style and cut your group would like best? Aunt Josephine is not going to look good in that photo with a muscle t-shirt. Heck, nor will cousin Jimmy. When in doubt, go with a safe bet – the short-sleeve, crewneck custom t-shirt.
Step 5: Pickup Your T-Shirts!
We will let you know the second your shirts have been printed, and we’ll check everything over with you to make sure you’re completely satisfied with the end product. Now, it’s time for you and yours to rock your new custom t-shirts! Be sure to let us know how everybody looks. In addition to screen printing services, STL Shirt Co. specializes in:
What Is the Process of Creating a Custom T-Shirt? | STL Shirt Co.
Our team of screen printing specialists will produce high quality, lasting designs on the custom t-shirt of your choice.
Whether it’s custom t-shirts, hoodies, hats, backpacks, or even stickers, the color you choose has a lot to do with the brand or concept you are trying to sell. Choosing a color scheme for brands and ideas can help you stand out among competitors in a crowded market, while helping connect with the emotions of your potential customers. Let the talented team at STL Shirt Co. lend a hand with color combinations and schemes.
The Importance of Color Schemes
From the use of classic red and golden yellow shades by McDonald’s to increase your heart rate (red) and be associated with being happy (yellow) to the prominent use of pure, clean white by Apple to represent the minimalist futuristic of technological design, the color schemes of these businesses create a visual identity that cements the company in the mind of their customers without their name being mentioned. The same approach, albeit on a decidedly smaller scale (ah, though, who knows?), can be used for your brand or concept on custom t-shirts.
Researchers have found that the color of medication impacts how effective patients think it will be. Other studies have analyzed phenomena like which hues have a proven track record of increasing image distribution via social media, how a company’s use of blue can increase our trust in it, and how color use in architecture and interior design can impact our mood.
What Reactions Do Certain People Have to Specific Colors?
Certain colors can evoke specific emotions and prompt strong reactions in people. Because of this, the colors you surround yourself with may send a signal to others about your personality, what you value, and how you behave. Give us a call now at 636-926-2777 or reach out to us online.
The following are some of the most researched and understood emotional meanings behind popular colors:
- Red: Often symbolizes intense desire and aggression. Brings about boldness, energy, warmth, and sensuality. It can project confidence and power and rev up people’s appetites. If your favorite color is red, you may be someone who is driven, adventurous, and active. On the opposite side, the color can evoke danger.
- Blue: The most popular favorite color, blue symbolizes peace, security, tranquility, and safety. Selecting blue as a favorite color might indicate you are a calm, trustworthy, and loyal person.
- Green: Often associated with finance and money, it can also represent nature and signal good luck, peacefulness, fertility, happiness, and rebirth. If you prefer the color green, others may view you as loyal, composed, and independent.
- White: Often signals purity, birth, youth, innocence, relaxation, and security. Preferring white can also mean you are organized, independent, and logical. Bare and bright, white can make you feel clean, fresh, and open to opportunities.
- Black: Can indicate power, creativity, elegance, rationality, stability. On the opposite side, the color can also convey sorrow and hopelessness. It’s a powerful color, which is possibly why it’s the most popular selection for luxury cars as people see it as sexy, mysterious, and even ominous.
- Orange: If your favorite color is orange, you may be a social person with a vibrant personality, as this shade can represent energy, warmth, and enthusiasm. Orange is typically seen as a happy color, often associated with sunshine and the spring season.
- Purple: Purple is a favorite color of many. This hue’s association with luxury goes far back in history as purple was often used to symbolize prosperity or royalty. If you choose purple, you may be ambitious, with a solid sense of self-worth and individuality.
- Yellow: Choosing yellow items likely means a person is happier than most, and perhaps a little more likely to take risks than others. It is associated with optimism, intelligence, and creativity.
- Silver: Silver conveys innovation and modernity. It’s the third most popular car color and often the color of high-tech products and accessories.
- Gray: Often is perceived as chic, modern, and stylish. If your favorite color is gray, you probably have characteristics associated with neutrality and balance. Drivers of gray cars don’t want to stand out.
Using Color Schemes to Define Your Vision
Does your organization deliver peace and calmness for your consumers? Maybe your company offers excitement and adventure? You can use the above emotional reactions to define your logo, brand, and concept. Once that is defined and set in proverbial stone, you’ll want to find the ideal color combinations for your custom t-shirts and other merchandise. Find the best complementary colors to your logo, brand, and concept, but also keep in mind the classic contrasting colors like dark black and clean white.
Scheming Color Combos: What Colors Work Best For My Custom T-Shirts? | STL Shirt Co.
The colors you choose say a lot about your organization, your brand, and your identity. You want those colors to scream the most significant message possible to your customers through your merchandise. Our skilled, knowledgeable staff is happy to help with your next custom t-shirt design and more.
When pondering the schematics of any design project, one of the most vital things is your color palette. Designing your next custom t-shirt is no different, and knowing a bit of color theory can quickly move you closer to professional design. The specialists at STL Shirt Co. want to help make the entire custom t-shirt process a breeze – from designing them, to ordering hundreds or thousands of them, to spreading the word, we have the experts in-house.
Call us today at 636-926-2777 or connect with us online. Not only do we have a staff of talented designers to bounce ideas off, but, once you are finished with the design, we provide the highest quality and quickest custom t-shirt printing in the St. Louis area, offering rush screen printing.
How Can Color Theory Help Translate What’s In My Head Onto a Custom T-Shirt?
Whether you know it or not, you’re likely already using color theory in your logos or designs. Maybe you picked blue and gold on your last t-shirt because you simply thought they looked good. But, there’s more than just personal preference, and perhaps some underlying fondness of the St. Louis Blues, at play in that decision, though. It’s because we’re wired to see those colors as two that “fit” together.
We’re going to give you a basic breakdown of what we call color theory, and how it can help you make your next t-shirt design your best one yet. Applying some basic color theory is often the line between amateur and professional-looking design and, with the following tips, we’re confident you can take your custom t-shirt designs to the next level:
Monochromatic Colors for St. Louis Custom T-Shirts
Monochromatic colors all share the same base color and are made by altering the saturation and brightness. This color scheme is lowest in contrast, but can often lead to a very pleasing design aesthetic. The low contrast gives the combination a more subdued feel that’s easier to work with if you’re new to custom t-shirt designing. Monochromatic designs can also often be paired with a variety of custom t-shirt colors because of the palette’s simplicity.
Complementary Colors for Custom T-Shirts in the St. Louis Area
Complementary colors are colors from opposite sides of the color wheel. Blue and orange, yellow and purple, green and red – they stand out against each other, but the effect feels right. It’s not garish and clashing. Complementary colors tend to stand out when used together, they tend to pop, so they’re best used when you’re designing a custom t-shirt that you really want to have noticed, one that stands out in a crowd. This could work well if your shirt has a strong message, and you want to make sure people see it. Call STL Shirt Co. today at 636-926-2777 or reach out for a quote online.
Analogous Colors for St. Louis Custom T-Shirts
Analogous colors are colors that are side by side, or adjacent, on the color wheel and usually from the same color family. These color schemes are generally lower contrast than complementary colors, making them a bit more versatile and focused. Using this type of color pattern is great for adding small, subtle flashes of color. Analogous colors are great for keeping your design fairly low-key, but add a little bit of pop.
Triadic Colors Used for Custom T-Shirts in St. Louis
From triad meaning three, triadic colors are a combination of three colors evenly spaced out on the color wheel. This is another high contrast combination due to how varied the hues are, but might be perfect if you’re looking for a color scheme that’s extra vibrant and exciting. The contrast isn’t quite as stark as complementary colors, but this scheme offers a good amount of contrast while still maintaining good harmony. The triadic color scheme is great when you want to have fun with your range of colors, and make sure it still looks good. Mixing multiple colors can get messy, but keeping this color rule in mind will let you have fun and do it in a way that still works.
Using Color Theory to Create Your Next Custom T-Shirt | STL Shirt Co.
Whether you choose to keep it simple with a monochromatic t-shirt design, or you decide to go with something a bit more flashy and exotic, taking the time to consider your color combinations is worth the effort to get something that you’re proud to put on. So, get designing! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Did you know that STL Shirt Co was once a sporting goods store before we only sold shirts? That’s right, Gaffneys Sporting Goods was the place. And those who remember Gaffney’s definitely remember the famous Gaffney’s T shirts and Gaffney’s Tent Sales! Someone asked us the other day how the Gaffney’s T and tent sale came to be and we figured it’d be worth writing about. Origin story begin:
On a Saturday in July 1981 Mike & Jim put 4 tables full of shoes and Adidas T-shirts etc out on the front sidewalk at the first store next to MBM BBQ and Gene’s Place in Florissant MO.
It was the biggest sale date in company history at that time. A whopping 1002.00. At the end of the day we sold some Gaffney’s T shirts for $2.00 each to break the $1000 goal we wanted to reach. That’s when the 2.00 Gaffney’s T-Shirt was born.
That very night the store was broken into and all of the money and about half of all the inventory in the entire store was stolen. That was not very nice. It darn near put Gaffney’s out of business.
We continued to have sidewalk sales, but the most popular items were the $2.00 T-Shirts.
Fast forward- Adidas, Puma, Umbro, Nike, and Lotto shorts were the most popular shorts in the World.
We would order 2000 pairs of shorts in assorted colors and matching t shirts to go with the shorts. The shorts would come in but the t shirts would never come in because they could not get them printed in time to arrive with the shorts.
So we started screenprinting the Gaffney’s logo ourselves in all the colors that matched the Shorts.
Thanks to the AWESOME support of customers at the Florissant Gaffney’s, we learned how to screenprint ourselves.
So now you know.
So if you want to go Back and we mean WAY BACK, you can order a Gaffney’s T-Shirt and have it shipped directly to you. We had to adjust the price from 40 years ago to 8.95 plus shipping
When it comes to custom t-shirts here at STL Shirt Co., we often get asked: “What sized shirts should I get?” It’s basically the question every customer asks themselves and us when placing orders that include a range of sizes.
Whether you are buying bulk for branded merchandise, selling t-shirts at a festival or concert in Greater St. Louis, outfitting staff with company logo polos, planning a promotional giveaway, or organizing an event, it’s easy to get lost when deciding on sizes. After all, you have so many things to keep straight – Billy wants 19 in royal blue, Johnny needs 33 cardinal red, and Cindy asked for 11 heathered gray for her neighbor’s cousin’s step brother.
T-Shirt Sizing: What Is the Optimal Formula For Group Orders?
In large group orders, we’ll say over 500 total t-shirts, it is important to get into specifics, rather than take bold, broad stabs and say, “Let’s just go with 50 of each size.” No matter what you are doing with the custom t-shirts and no matter the size of your order, excess inventory is the Achilles heel of any business, but particularly for the t-shirt industry – large and small. It cuts directly into margins and takes up space in the closet or basement. What are you going to do with all of those extra smalls or triple-XLs? You can only have so many garments for dusting or shoe polishing.
Another issue is you could easily run out of the sizes you need – the premium sizes – and be stuck with leftover inventory of the sizes that nobody wanted. If you’re selling band merchandise at an event, some fans could leave empty-handed, likely never to return, because you don’t have their size. Nobody wants that. We’re here to help.
Using the STL Shirt Co. sales data as a starting point, and adding additional statistical factors such as survey results, we developed the following recommended ratio for t-shirt sizing broken down to percentage of your order by size:
- XS – 1%
- S – 10%
- M – 23%
- L – 31%
- XL – 23%
- 2XL – 9%
- 3XL – 3%
These are only recommendations, provided as a starting point. We applied over four decades of experience with thousands of customers, as well as knowledge of the industry. But, there are other, non-statistical factors to consider when ordering to ensure your customers, employees, family, followers, and fans are happy, such as:
- Fabric shrinkage – If your t-shirts are all 100% cotton, skew your order slightly toward the larger sizes. Keep in mind though, if washed properly, cotton shouldn’t shrink over 2%. If your shirts are 50-50 blends or triblends, you don’t have to worry much about shrinkage.
- Fit or cut of your custom t-shirts – Another thing to consider is that many of today’s fashion fit or semi-fitted styles run slightly smaller than their standard counterparts. Many have tapered sleeves and side seams for a slimmer fit.
- Demographic and purpose – Whether you’re selling t-shirts or donating them, think about your market or demographic. Is it a BBQ festival? Skew the sizes larger. Is it a yoga retreat? Skew the sizes smaller. Is it band merchandise for fans mostly in their 20s? Go with the fashion fit or semi-fitted.
T-Shirt Sizing: How Do I Determine Sizes For My Order?
To determine sizes for your custom t-shirt order, just do the math – taking the total numbers of shirts and multiplying it by our recommended percentages for each size. Let’s say your order is for 600 t-shirts. Here’s the breakdown:
- 600 x .01 = 6 XS
- 600 x .10 = 60 S
- 600 x .23 = 138 M
- 600 x .31 = 186 L
- 600 x .23 = 138 XL
- 600 x .09 = 54 2XL
- 600 x .03 = 18 3XL
Hate math? No problem. This calculator does the math for you, applying our recommended ratio.
For smaller orders, say less than 100 shirts, you may want to omit the extra smalls and triple-XLs, and redistribute those percentage across the sizes, like this for an order of 50:
- 50 x .10 = 5 S
- 50 x .24 = 12 M
- 50 x .32 = 16 L
- 50 x .24 = 12 XL
- 50 x .10 = 5 2XL
T-Shirt Sizing: The Ultimate Guide For Group Orders | STL Shirt Co.
If size distribution is too sporadic to estimate, difficult to pinpoint, or it is entirely unnecessary for your group, STL Shirt Co. has other services that may be able to help. We can assist in starting your own online store, as well as help you run virtual fundraisers in similar fashion. For these services, you simply need to give us an estimate for how many t-shirts you plan to sell, send us your design, and we can create a unique online store to be shared with your entire group. You won’t have to worry about planning for sizes, or keeping that spreadsheet or chicken scratch with Billy’s and Cindy’s orders straight, or collecting the money.
We love t-shirts here at STL Shirt Co. We want you to love your screen printed custom t-shirts as much as we love making them. If you are looking for the best fabrics to use for your custom t-shirts, we can help.
Get started on your order right now by calling us today at 636-926-2777 or connecting with us online. We provide the highest quality and quickest custom t-shirts in the St. Louis area, offering rush screen printing.
Which Fabrics Work Best For Screen Printing Custom T-Shirts?
Have a design that you want to show off on a high-quality custom t-shirt? Or, maybe you need a bunch of moisture-wicking shirts for a big company golf tourney booked for the sweltering swamp of mid-July? STL Shirt Co. uses only the best fabrics for your custom t-shirts, which can essentially be broken down into the following four main categories:
This is the least expensive option, and has been the standard 100 percent cotton t-shirt since the 1980s. Combed cotton has a more dense feel to it and, although these types of shirts are typically pre-shrunk, you may see some slight shrinkage. These shirts come in just about every color imaginable and our customers order them often for family reunions, bachelorette parties, and large groups or events on a tight budget.
Ringspun cotton is still 100% cotton, but is a much softer fabric than combed cotton. The yarn that is created for ringspun cotton is spun in a way that produces stronger, longer strands that are soft, extremely durable, and free from the rough texture of standard cotton. The process of continuously spinning, twisting, and thinning the cotton strands is what yields long, soft strands. Although slightly more expensive than combed cotton, many prefer the look and feel of this material. T-shirts made from ringspun cotton tend to be more form-fitting, modern, and fashion-forward. We have filled a lot of orders using ringspun cotton for team or staff custom t-shirts and other apparel.
Not sure which fabric works best for your custom t-shirt? No problem. Call the STL Shirt Co. team at 636-926-2777 or contact us online. We would be happy to help, and we’re always happy to meet with you in person at our conveniently located shop in St. Peters, if you’d like to get your hands on these types of fabrics.
Soft Cotton/Polyester Blend
Cotton/poly blends are softer and lighter than ringspun cotton. They are also frequently referred to as 50/50, 60/40, or chief value cotton (CVC). Cotton/poly blends are one of our most popular options for the majority of our custom t-shirt orders, as they provide a great balance between affordability and ‘retail-ready’ feel. Color options in blended t-shirts are usually heathered, meaning they have a slight speckled look due to inter-knitted yarns of slightly different colors. These blended fabrics rarely shrink, and tend to be the most versatile, so our customers really enjoy them.
This fabric is a blend of 50% polyester, 25% ringspun cotton, and 25% rayon, and is quickly becoming the go-to for our customers’ t-shirt orders. Although more expensive than the other fabrics with a limited selection of colors, the pros outweigh the cons, as the blend of these materials yields a t-shirt that is very soft, flowy, and breathable. It fits well to form, but does not shrink, and works well as custom t-shirts for nearly any function, team, staff, or group.
So, Which Fabric Should I Choose For Screen Printing My Custom T-Shirts?
Choosing the right fabric can seem like a tedious task, but it really makes all the difference in a custom t-shirt purchase:
- If you’re looking for a no-gimmicks, classic t-shirt and want to spend as little money as possible, go with a combed cotton t-shirt. You probably already have a handful of these from that last softball team you played for, school event you participated in, or that barbershop quartet you sang in.
- If you’re looking for something soft, affordable, and fashion forward, go with a ringspun cotton custom t-shirt.
- If you want something a little more high-end and super soft, you can’t go wrong with a cotton/poly blend shirt.
- Finally, if you want the softest shirt available at STL Shirt Co., and you have a larger budget to work with, go with the triblend.
Which Fabrics Work Best For Screen Printing Custom T-Shirts? | STL Shirt Co.
Custom t-shirts are great for any event or group. Creating your own custom design for your business, event, group of friends, or team is an exciting opportunity. Have fun with it and be creative. If you have the idea but don’t feel comfortable creating it, no need to worry. We have a team of talented designers that can help.
Have you ever dealt with unresponsive or slow contract embroidery decorators? Well you don’t have to worry about that any more! Here at STL Shirt Co, we pride ourselves on having impeccable customer service for our contract embroidery customers. We know that if we provide great, speedy service to our contractors, we have customers for life!
One big difference between STL Shirt Co. and other contract embroidery shops is that we can’t stand having items in our shop. The minute items show, we want them finished and sent out ASAP. Often times we are grabbing the blanks from the UPS truck and sending them directly to our embroidery machines and then back out the same day!
We currently have 30 heads of embroidery and are running 1 shift but we are ready for more! The minute we get behind or more work comes in than 1 shift can handle, we’ll bump it to 2 shifts for double capacity!
We are also located in St. Louis, MO which is great for shipping times. Since we are centrally located in the states, most shipments can be anywhere in the country in 3 days or less on a ground shipment! And if ground is too long, no problem. We ship overnight packages all day long and will make sure we hit your customers need by date every time.
So if you’re ready to ditch your current contract embroidery shop, give us a call or shoot us an email today and we’ll get you setup in no time!