STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Houston, TX area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Houston, TX and throughout the country for over 45 years. We are commited to making the Houston, TX t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. You may be wondering about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place your order by giving us a call 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 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. 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 – Make your order.
You’ve decided you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, club, sports team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the Houston, TX t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- Design to be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. can give you guidance and assurance through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. 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 have created your design, we go about preparing the screen that will be used to get your design printed on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated 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. 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 creates the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple colors, we go through the same process for 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. You might have noticed that the prints on shirts are slightly textured, a little rubbery, but still smooth and flexible. What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. It is great due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We work deliberately to line everything up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and pull 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. There is an art to applying the ink precisely so it looks bright and retains the sharp lines in the 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 they aren’t ready to go yet. 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 that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order to do this 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. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up neatly and hand the finished product 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. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.