STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and organizations in the Berkeley, CA area. People in Berkeley, CA and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We are commited to making the Berkeley, CA t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you have more questions about what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place your order by calling us 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 receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, work group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Berkeley, CA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- Design to 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 guidance and assurance during the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or 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 decide on a design, we go about making 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 desired end results, our t-shirt printing team 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. 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.
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.
This is where the ink comes in. T-shirt printing and other screen 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 works well for screen printing due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We are very careful to make sure everything is registered and lined 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 use a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print. For designs with multiple 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 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 they aren’t ready to go yet. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. In other words, we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. In order to make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible to damage the shirt or the print when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will turn 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 the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just 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, we even offer rush printing services.