STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Rochester, MI area. People in Rochester, MI and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We are commited to making the Rochester, MI 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. Ask us questions or begin your order by calling 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 seem a bit mysterous. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing 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. 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 to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, club, sports team, or something else. You place the order and the Rochester, MI t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
Don’t sweat it if you are intimidated by the thought of creating a design and making all these choices! STL Shirt Co. will offer guidance and help during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design work with 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 prepare the screen
Once you decide on a design, we get to work on preparing the screen that will be used to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed 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. 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. 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 produces the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple colors, we go through the same process for 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. 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. Plastisol works well 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.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to line everything up exactly so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and use a squeegee from end to end of the screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order, and if your design has more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right so it looks bright 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.
Now your awesome design is 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. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To do this we have to apply heat to the ink. Ink curing is a science, and it’s 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!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up nicely and hand them off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts printed even faster, check out our rush printing services.