STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Baltimore, MD area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Baltimore, MD and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the Baltimore, MD t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin your order by reaching 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 can have an enigmatic feel. 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 know you want some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, school group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and the Baltimore, MD t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. can give you guidance and support through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can 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
After you have created your design, we go about preparing the screen that allows us to get your design printed 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 to use in printing your shirts. To the screen, we apply a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and the screen is exposed to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This is how we create 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.
Now we are ready for the ink. T-shirt printing and other screen 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. That’s plastisol for you. 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. We work deliberately to line everything up exactly so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and pass a squeegee from end to end of the screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with more than one color, 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 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! We aren’t quite done, though. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. To do this we introduce the ink to heat. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is possible to damage the shirt or the print if you use the wrong temperature or cure it for the wrong length of time. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold them 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. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts printed even faster, check out our rush printing services.