STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and businesses in the Kent, WA area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Kent, WA and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the Kent, WA t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. We are sure you be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin 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 can come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing shop 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 – Make your order.
You’ve determined you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the Kent, WA t-shirt printing journey begins. 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
- The design you want printed
! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer counsel and help 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, rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
Once you have created your design, we get to work on 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 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. That film we printed your design on is placed 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 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. It is great because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly 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. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print. For designs with more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right to where it looks bright 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.
The ink is now 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 becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s 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 turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and pass them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, use our rush printing services.