STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and businesses in the Hartford, CT area. People in Hartford, CT and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. Our Hartford, CT t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, 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 can come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing shop and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 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 the Hartford, CT t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. can give you advice and assurance during the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
Once you decide on a design, we go about making the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. To the screen, we apply 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 creates the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple 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. Have you ever noticed how, on a printed shirt, you can feel the texture of the design, but it is still soft and flexible? That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and use 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. For designs with more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where it stays vibrant 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.
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 ink from a liquid into a solid that will stay in place 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 when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. 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, 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. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, use our rush printing services.