STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and organizations in the Kansas City, KA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Kansas City, KA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Kansas City, KA 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
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order may have an enigmatic feel. 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. 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’ve decided you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, school group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and the Kansas City, KA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and assurance through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt 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
Once you determine your design, we go about making the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing staff 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 we expose the screen 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 produces 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. 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 works well for screen printing due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
Next, we mount the prepared 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 to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But there is still one more step. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to 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 do this 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 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 turn 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 nicely 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. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.