STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Nashville, TN area. For almost 50 years, members of the Nashville, TN community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Nashville, TN t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin 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. 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 know you want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Nashville, TN t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and assurance through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design work with 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 have created your design, we get to work on making the screen that will be used 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. To the screen, we apply a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. That film we printed your design on is placed 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, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces 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.
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, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely 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 they aren’t ready to go yet. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To make this happen 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 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!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up nicely and hand the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in just a few days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.