STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and businesses in the Oceanside, CA area. People in Oceanside, CA and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We are commited to making the Oceanside, CA 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
Custom t-shirt printing orders can come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing shop and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. We wouldn’t blame you if you described it as magic. 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 your upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Oceanside, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
Don’t sweat it if you are intimidated by the thought of creating a design and making all these choices! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and support during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design rely on 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 make the screen
After you determine your design, we get to work on preparing the screen that will be used 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 experts 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 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 you want a design using multiple colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen 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 usually 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 any color t-shirt.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up exactly so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of 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, and if your design has multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely to where it shows up nicely and keeps the sharp lines in the original design. Lucky for you, our t-shirt printing team has mad skills.
STEP FOUR – The ink cures.
Now your awesome design is 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. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order to make this happen we have to apply heat to the ink. Ink curing is a science, and it’s easy 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 turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up neatly and pass them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in just a handful of 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 ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.