STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Cincinnati, OH area. For almost 50 years, members of the Cincinnati, OH community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Cincinnati, OH area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. 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 begin 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 come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop 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. 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 know you want some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, work group, sports team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Cincinnati, OH t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. can give you advice and assurance through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt 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 prepare the screen
After you decide on a design, we go about preparing the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen for your order. To the screen, we apply 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.
If you want a design using multiple colors, 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 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 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.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so that your design is oriented correctly 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. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order, 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 shows up nicely 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But they aren’t ready to go yet. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. In other words, we have to turn the liquid ink 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. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is 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!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold them up nicely and hand them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in 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, we even offer rush printing services.