STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Peoria, IL area. For almost 50 years, members of the Peoria, IL community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Peoria, IL t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or place 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 can have an enigmatic feel. 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. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 – Place your order.
You know you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, school group, sports team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Peoria, IL t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and support through every step of the 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 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 have created 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. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. We then coat that screen 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. 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 is how we create the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
This is where the ink comes in. 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. What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. It is great 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, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We work deliberately to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and use a squeegee from end to end of the screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with several 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. In order to do this 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 turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once 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 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, check out our rush printing services.