STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in the Bridgeport, CT area. People in Bridgeport, CT and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. Our Bridgeport, CT t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place 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 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. 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 – Place your order.
You’ve determined you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, school group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Bridgeport, CT t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. will offer counsel and help through 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 rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
After you have created your design, we go about 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 unique parameters, our t-shirt printing experts 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. 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 your design involves multiple ink colors, 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 usually 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? That’s plastisol for you. It is great because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
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 precisely so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and pull a squeegee across the entire 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 more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right so it shows up nicely and retains 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. 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 ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. In order 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 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!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! 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 few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.