STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and businesses in the Elk Grove, CA area. People in Elk Grove, 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 are commited to making the Elk Grove, CA t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. 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 place your order by reaching 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 can come with an air of mystery. You give your 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. 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 – Place your order.
You know you need some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, club, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Elk Grove, CA 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 type and color(s)
- Design to be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and assurance during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
Once 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. 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, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces 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.
This is where the ink comes in. T-shirt printing and other screen 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 is ideal for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up 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 are very careful to make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pull a squeegee across the entire screen to apply 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 precisely so 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! But there is still one more step. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. To make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is easy to damage the shirt or the print with temperatures that are too high. 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, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up neatly and pass them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in just a few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, use our rush printing services.