STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the Phoenix, AZ area. For almost 50 years, members of the Phoenix, AZ community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Phoenix, AZ t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you have more questions about what we can do for you, how we do it, 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
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order may come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing 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. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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, sports team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Phoenix, AZ t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and assurance through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
After you determine your design, we get to work on making the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, 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. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and the screen is exposed 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.
For designs with more than one color ink, 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 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 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.
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 make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has 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 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 there is still one more step. 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 so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible to damage the shirt or the print when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount 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, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and pass the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in just a few days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.