STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and businesses in the Minneapolis, MN area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Minneapolis, MN and throughout the country for over 45 years. We are commited to making the Minneapolis, MN t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, 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
Custom t-shirt printing orders can come with an air of mystery. You give your 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. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. 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 decided you want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, club, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the Minneapolis, MN t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer counsel and support 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 rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
Once you decide on a design, we get to work on preparing the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and we expose the screen 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 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 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 make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and pull a squeegee from end to end of the 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 multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely so 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.
You can now see the design on your shirts! But there is still one more step. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays 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 when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. 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! We fold them up neatly and hand the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a few 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, check out our rush printing services.