STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and organizations in the Portland, OR area. For almost 50 years, members of the Portland, OR community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We are commited to making the Portland, OR t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you be wondering 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 give your 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. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. 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’ve decided you want some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, sports team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the Portland, OR t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and help 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 prepare the screen
Once you determine your 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 team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. That film we printed your design on is placed 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 is how we create the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink 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. 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 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, 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 we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We add ink onto 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 more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely to where it stays vibrant 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. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. In other words, we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. 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 with temperatures that are too high. 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! Next, we fold the shirts up neatly and hand them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a handful of 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, we even offer rush printing services.