STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Akron, OH area. People in Akron, OH and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Akron, OH area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin your order by giving us a call at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders can come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop and, a few days later, you have fresh-pressed, neatly boxed t-shirts on your doorstep or waiting for you at the shop. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. To the unfamiliar, t-shirt printing is a mysterious endeavor. Many of our t-shirt printing customers come to us for special occasions and events, so we understand the excitement that surrounds these shirts. Have you ever wondered about the journey that plain cotton tee has gone through to become the beauty you see hanging in your closet or reflected in the mirror today?
The T-Shirt Printing Process
STEP ONE – Make your order.
You’ve decided you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, work group, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the Akron, OH t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. can give you advice and assurance through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, work with our professional design team. Our experienced staff can advise you on the best shirt or combination of colors to use for your order.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
Once you have created your design, we get to work on making the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. To the screen, we apply a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and we expose the screen to light. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This creates the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Then, it is time to add the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing typically uses a special ink called plastisol. Have you ever noticed how, on a printed shirt, you can feel the texture of the design, but it is still soft and flexible? What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. Plastisol works well for screen printing due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up precisely so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print. For designs with several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right so it shows up nicely and keeps the sharp lines from your original design. Lucky for you, our t-shirt printing team has mad skills.
STEP FOUR – The ink cures.
You can now see the design on your shirts! But there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To make this happen we have to apply heat to the ink. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is easy to damage the shirt or the print when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. You can rest assured that we have the curing process figured out, so you know your prints will turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up nicely and hand them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in just a handful of days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.