STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in the Providence, RI area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Providence, RI and throughout the country for over 45 years. We are commited to making the Providence, RI t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. You may have more questions about what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered 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 can have an enigmatic feel. You give your order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print 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 – Place your order.
You know you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, school group, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the Providence, RI t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and help during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design rely on 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
After you have created your design, we go about preparing the screen that will be used to get your design printed 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 experts will select the best mesh screen for your order. 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. 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 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.
Now we are ready for 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 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.
We then secure the screens 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 to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply 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 multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right so it stays vibrant and retains the sharp lines from your 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. 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 that will stay in place on your t-shirts. To make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is possible 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up nicely and pass the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, check out our rush printing services.