STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Little Rock, AR area. For almost 50 years, members of the Little Rock, AR community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Little Rock, AR area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you have more questions about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or place 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 put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. We wouldn’t blame you if you described it as magic. 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 decided you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Little Rock, AR t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be 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 counsel and help during 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. If you want to know which shirt or colors will work best for your needs, we can help with that too.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
After you have created your design, we go about making the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. We then coat that screen with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and we expose the screen 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 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 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? What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. It is great because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
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 that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and pass a squeegee from end to end of the screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print. For designs with multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right 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. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible 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!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly 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. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.