STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in the Charleston, SC area. People in Charleston, SC and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We have the Charleston, SC t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. We are sure you be wondering about what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or start 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 may seem a bit mysterous. 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. 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 – Make your order.
You know you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, athletic team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Charleston, SC t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and support during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can rely on our professional design team. If you want to know which shirt or colors will work best for your needs, we can help with that too.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
Once you determine your design, we go about preparing the screen that will be used to print the design on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it 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 produces 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.
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. 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 a shirt of any color.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up precisely so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right so 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To do this we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s easy 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 turn 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 them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in just a few days. Ask us about having your order shipped 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.