STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Lafayette, LA area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Lafayette, LA and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the Lafayette, LA t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or start your order by calling us at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders may seem a bit mysterous. 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. 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 – Place your order.
You’ve determined you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, school group, sports team, or something else. You place the order and the Lafayette, LA 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. is here to offer counsel and help through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can rely on 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 make the screen
After 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 desired end results, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. 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 produces 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.
Now we are ready for the ink. T-shirt printing and other screen 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? 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.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, and each shirt is placed 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 apply ink onto the screen and pass 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 several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely so it stays vibrant 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.
Now your awesome design is on your shirts! We aren’t quite done, though. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. In other words, we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it stays 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 possible to damage the shirt or the print when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. We know what we’re doing, though, 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 nicely 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 ready in a week or less, we even offer rush printing services.