STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and businesses in the Killeen, TX area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Killeen, TX and throughout the country for over 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Killeen, TX area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. You may be wondering about our capabilities and services, 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 seem a bit mysterous. You give your 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. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. 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’ve determined you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, club, sports team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the Killeen, TX t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify 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. will offer guidance and help through the entire 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. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
After you decide on a design, we go about preparing the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen for your order. To the screen, we apply a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. We place the film with your design on it 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 is how we create 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. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing usually 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. Plastisol works well for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up 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 exactly 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 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. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it shows up nicely 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! We aren’t quite done, though. 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 so it becomes permanent 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 with temperatures that are too high. 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, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up nicely and pass them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a handful of 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, we even offer rush printing services.