STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and organizations in the Detroit, MI area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Detroit, MI and throughout the country for over 45 years. Our Detroit, MI t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, 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
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order may seem a bit mysterous. You give your 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. 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’ve decided you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, school group, athletic team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Detroit, MI t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will 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 guidance and help through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can 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
Once you determine your design, we get to work on making 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 desired end results, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. We then coat that screen with 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 produces 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.
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 a shirt of any color.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We work deliberately to line everything up exactly so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and pull a squeegee from end to end of the screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order, and if your design has more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where it shows up nicely and retains 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. 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. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible 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 them up nicely and hand the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in 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 printed even faster, use our rush printing services.