STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Glendale, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Glendale, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Glendale, CA t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you have more questions about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions 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 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. We wouldn’t blame you if you described it as magic. To the unfamiliar, 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 want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, work group, sports team, or something else. You place the order and the Glendale, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to 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. can give you advice and assurance through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can work with 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 make the screen
Once 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 team will select the best mesh screen for your order. We then coat that screen with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and we expose the screen to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we repeat the process above, making a screen 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. 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.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We are very careful to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely 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 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 multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so 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.
Now your awesome design is on your shirts! But there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. In order 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. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and pass the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a few days. Ask us about having your order shipped 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.