STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and businesses in the Raleigh, NC area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Raleigh, NC and throughout the country for over 45 years. Our Raleigh, NC t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may 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
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order can seem a bit mysterous. 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’ve decided you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, school group, athletic team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Raleigh, NC t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer guidance and help through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can 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
Once you have created 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. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. To the screen, we apply 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. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, and 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 go through the same process for for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Now we are ready for the ink. 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. That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply 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. 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 just right to where it shows up nicely 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But there is still one more step. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To do this we introduce the ink to heat. Ink curing is a science, and it’s possible 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 turn 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 the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of 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.