STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Gilbert, AZ area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Gilbert, AZ and throughout the country for over 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Gilbert, AZ area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. You may 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 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. 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 – Make your order.
You know you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, work group, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Gilbert, AZ t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on 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. will offer guidance and help through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design work with 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 prepare the screen
After you have created your design, we get to work on making the screen that allows us 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. 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, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This is how we create 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. T-shirt printing and other screen 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. That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol works well 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.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and pull 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 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 so it stays vibrant 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. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. To do this 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 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 the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a few 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, check out our rush printing services.