STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Chula Vista, CA area. People in Chula Vista, 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 have the Chula Vista, CA t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or begin your order by giving us a call 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, a few days later, you have fresh-pressed, neatly boxed t-shirts on your doorstep or waiting for you at the shop. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 – Make your order.
You know you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or some other use. You place the order and the Chula Vista, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. 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)
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer counsel and help during the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design rely on 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 get to work on making 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. To the screen, we apply a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and the screen is exposed 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. Screen printing such as t-shirt 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. 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 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 are very careful to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and pass a squeegee from end to end of the screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it looks bright 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 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 ink from a liquid into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. In order to make this happen we have to apply heat to the ink. 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up nicely and pass 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 ready in a week or less, use our rush printing services.