STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Long Beach, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Long Beach, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We have the Long Beach, CA 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, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or start your order by giving us a call 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 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. 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 – Place your order.
You’ve determined you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, school group, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the Long Beach, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- 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 advice and support during the entire 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. 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
Once you determine your design, we get to work on preparing the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated with 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. 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 creates the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple 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. 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. 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.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt 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 add ink onto the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated 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. There is an art to applying 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.
You can now see the design on your shirts! But they aren’t ready to go yet. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid that will stay in place 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 with temperatures that are too high. 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, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold them up nicely and hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped 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.