STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and businesses in the Olathe, KS area. People in Olathe, KS and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We have the Olathe, KS t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. We are sure you have more questions 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. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. 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 your upcoming event, work group, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Olathe, KS t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer guidance and help through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can 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 create the screen
After you decide on a design, we get to work on preparing the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing experts 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. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film 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 go through the same process for for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Now we are ready for the ink. 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. That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing 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, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We work deliberately to line everything up precisely so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We add 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. For designs with multiple 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 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. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. To do this 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. 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, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, 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 only 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.