STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and organizations in the Orange, CA area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Orange, CA and throughout the country for over 45 years. Our Orange, CA t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place your order by calling 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 may seem a bit mysterous. You give your 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 want some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, work group, athletic team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Orange, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and assurance through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can 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 make the screen
Once you determine your design, we go about 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 desired end results, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. 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 but 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.
Then, it is time to add the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt 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. 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 any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up precisely so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pass a squeegee from end to end of the screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order, and if your design has more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right so it shows up nicely 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! We aren’t quite done, though. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. This means the ink must be transformed 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. 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. 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, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold them up nicely and hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a handful of days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, use our rush printing services.