STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and businesses in the Albuquerque, NM area. For almost 50 years, members of the Albuquerque, NM community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Albuquerque, NM area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you have more questions about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or start your order by giving us a call at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order may come with an air of mystery. You give your order to your favorite screen printer 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 – Place your order.
You’ve determined you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, school group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and the Albuquerque, NM t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will be printed
Don’t sweat it if you are intimidated by the thought of creating a design and making all these choices! STL Shirt Co. can give you advice and support through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
Once you decide on a design, we get to work on preparing the screen that will be used to get your design printed on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. We then coat that screen with 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. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This creates the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we go through the same process for 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. You might have noticed that the prints on shirts are slightly textured, a little rubbery, but still smooth and flexible. What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. It is great due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to line everything up exactly 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 pull a squeegee from end to end of the screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it stays vibrant 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.
Now your awesome design is on your shirts! We aren’t quite done, though. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. To do this we have to apply heat to the ink. Ink curing is a science, and it’s easy to damage the shirt or the print with temperatures that are too high. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up neatly and pass the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, we even offer rush printing services.