STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and businesses in the Evansville, IN area. For almost 50 years, members of the Evansville, IN community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We have the Evansville, IN t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin 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. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, club, athletic team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Evansville, IN t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and help through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. 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 create the screen
After you decide on a design, we get to work on preparing the screen that will be used to get your design printed on your shirts. First, we print the design 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. We then coat that screen with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. 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.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
This is where the ink comes in. 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. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to line everything up exactly so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and pull a squeegee from end to end of the 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 more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely so it shows up nicely and keeps the sharp lines in the 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 there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays 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 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 turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up nicely and hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just 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 ready in a week or less, we even offer rush printing services.