STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and businesses in the Milwaukee, WI area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Milwaukee, WI and throughout the country for over 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Milwaukee, WI area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. 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 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 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. 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’ve decided you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the Milwaukee, WI t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer guidance and assurance during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. 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 make the screen
Once you decide on a design, we go about 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. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen for your order. 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 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, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This is how we create the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we go through the same process for 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. 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 because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We are very careful 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 pull 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, and if your design has several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To do this we have to apply heat to the ink. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible 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, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and pass the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.