STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in the Cary, NC area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Cary, NC and throughout the country for over 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Cary, NC area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place your order by reaching us at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders may seem a bit mysterous. You give your order to your favorite printing shop and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. We wouldn’t blame you if you described it as magic. 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 need to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, work group, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the Cary, NC t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- 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. is here to offer guidance and help during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. 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 create 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. 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 for your order. The screen is coated 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 is how we create the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Now we are ready for the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing typically 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? 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.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, and each shirt is 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 add ink onto the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print. For designs with multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right to where it stays vibrant and retains the sharp lines in the 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. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. 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 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!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up neatly and hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.