STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in the Lakewood, CO area. For almost 50 years, members of the Lakewood, CO community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Lakewood, CO t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or start 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 can have an enigmatic feel. 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. 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 – Make your order.
You know you need to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, club, sports team, or something else. You place the order and the Lakewood, CO t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
Don’t sweat it if you are intimidated by the thought of creating a design and making all these choices! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and assurance through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can rely on our professional design team. Our experienced staff can advise you on the best shirt or combination of colors to use for your order.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
After you determine your design, we go about preparing the screen that will be used to print the design 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 for your order. To the screen, we apply 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. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we go through the same process for for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Then, it is time to add the ink. T-shirt printing and other screen 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 is ideal 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. We work deliberately 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. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it stays vibrant and keeps 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 they aren’t ready to go yet. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. 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 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 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 turn 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 pass the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, we even offer rush printing services.