STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the Lincoln, NE area. For almost 50 years, members of the Lincoln, NE community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Lincoln, NE t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. You may have more questions about what we can do for you, how we do it, 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 may have an enigmatic feel. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite screen printer and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 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 Lincoln, NE t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- 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. will offer counsel and assurance through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
Once you have created your design, we go about preparing the screen that will be used to print the design 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. We then coat that screen with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. 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 but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This creates the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen 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. 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 is ideal for screen printing 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, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We are very careful 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 pass a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order, and if your design has more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely to where 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! But they aren’t ready to go yet. 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 that will stay in place on your t-shirts. To make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is easy to damage the shirt or the print when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. You can rest assured that we have the curing process figured out, 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! 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 just a handful of 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 printed even faster, use our rush printing services.