STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Downey, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Downey, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We have the Downey, CA t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered 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 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. 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 determined you need some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, school group, sports team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Downey, CA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer counsel and help during the entire 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, work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
Once you determine your design, we go about making the screen that will be used to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. To the screen, we apply 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. 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 is how we create the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, 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 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. What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. Plastisol works well for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care 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 apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this 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 precisely to where 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. This means the ink must be transformed into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. In order to do this we have to apply heat to the ink. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible to damage the shirt or the print with temperatures that are too high. 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 the shirts up nicely and pass them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.