STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and organizations in the McAllen, TX area. For almost 50 years, members of the McAllen, TX community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. Our McAllen, TX t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered 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 may seem a bit mysterous. 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. For those who have never experienced the process, 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 want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the McAllen, TX t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- 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. can give you counsel and support 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 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 have created your design, we get to work on making the screen that will be used 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 team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. 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. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This is how we create 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.
Now we are ready for 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. 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 any color t-shirt.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything 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 apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order. 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 looks bright 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! 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 liquid ink into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. To do this 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 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!
Once the ink is cured, 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 just a few 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.