STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and organizations in the Colorado Springs, CO area. People in Colorado Springs, CO 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 Colorado Springs, CO 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 what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or place 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 come with an air of mystery. 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. 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’ve decided you want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, club, sports team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Colorado Springs, CO t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
Don’t sweat it if you are intimidated by the thought of creating a design and making all these choices! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and help through the entire 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
After you decide on a design, we get to work on making the screen that allows us 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 staff will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and the screen is exposed to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This creates 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.
Then, it is time to add the ink. T-shirt printing and other screen 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 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, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We work deliberately to line everything 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 use a squeegee from end to end of the 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. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where it looks bright 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.
You can now see the design 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 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 when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. You can rest assured that we have the curing process figured out, 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! We fold the shirts up nicely and pass the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.