STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the Lexington, KY area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Lexington, KY and throughout the country for over 45 years. We are commited to making the Lexington, KY t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place your order by reaching us at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders can seem a bit mysterous. You give your order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print 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’ve determined you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, club, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the Lexington, KY t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. can give you guidance 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. Our experienced staff can advise you on the best shirt or combination of colors to use for your order.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
Once you decide on a design, we get to work on preparing the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. We then coat that screen with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and the screen is exposed to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film and 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. You might have noticed that the prints on shirts are slightly textured, a little rubbery, but still smooth and flexible. That’s plastisol for you. 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 exactly 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 use a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth 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. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where 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.
You can now see the design on your shirts! We aren’t quite done, though. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To do this we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible to damage the shirt or the print with temperatures that are too high. 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!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up nicely and hand them 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 printed even faster, we even offer rush printing services.