STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Hayward, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Hayward, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. Our Hayward, CA t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may have more questions about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin 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 give your 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 – Place your order.
You’ve decided you need to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, work group, sports team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Hayward, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. will offer counsel and support 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 work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
Once you determine your design, we get to work on preparing the screen that allows us to print the design 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 experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. 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 the screen is exposed to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film and 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.
Then, it is time to add 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? That’s plastisol for you. It is great 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. 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 pass 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 several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely to where it stays vibrant 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. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it becomes permanent 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 if you use the wrong temperature or cure it for the wrong length of time. 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!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, 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. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, we even offer rush printing services.