STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and organizations in the Newport News, VA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Newport News, VA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Newport News, VA t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or start your order by giving us a call at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order may have an enigmatic feel. 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 – Make your order.
You’ve determined you need to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, school group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Newport News, VA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and support during the entire 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 preparing the screen that allows us 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. To the screen, we apply 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 creates the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple 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 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. What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. Plastisol works well 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 exactly so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print. For designs with several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right to where it looks bright 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 they aren’t ready to go yet. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order to do this we have to apply heat to the ink. 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 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 the shirts up nicely and hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts printed even faster, we even offer rush printing services.