STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Naperville, IL area. People in Naperville, IL and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Naperville, IL area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, 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
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order can have an enigmatic feel. You give your order to your favorite screen printer 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 – Make your order.
You’ve determined you need to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Naperville, IL t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer guidance and assurance through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, work with 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 create the screen
Once you have created your design, we go about making the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and we expose the screen to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This creates 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.
This is where the ink comes in. T-shirt printing and other screen printing usually 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 due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
The screens we made are attached 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 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. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it stays vibrant and retains the sharp lines in the 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. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. This means the ink must be transformed into a solid so it stays 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 if you use the wrong temperature or cure it for the wrong length 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!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up nicely and pass the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only 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, we even offer rush printing services.