STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and organizations in the Aurora, IL area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Aurora, IL and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the Aurora, IL t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin your order by calling us 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 put in your t-shirt printing 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. For those who have never experienced the process, 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 determined you need some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, club, sports team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Aurora, IL 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
- What design will be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and help through every step of the 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, work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
After you determine your design, we get to work on preparing the screen that allows us 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 to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. 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 is how we create the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
This is where the ink comes in. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing usually 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. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up 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. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where it stays vibrant and keeps the sharp lines in the 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. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order 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 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up neatly and pass them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a few days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts printed even faster, check out our rush printing services.