STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the Rochester, NY area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Rochester, NY and throughout the country for over 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Rochester, NY area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. 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 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 can have an enigmatic feel. You put in your t-shirt printing 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. We wouldn’t blame you if you described it as magic. 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 need to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the Rochester, NY t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink colors or special effects
- 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 advice and support through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can 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 make the screen
After you have created your design, we get to work on preparing the screen that will be used 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. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it 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 is how we create the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink 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. Screen printing such as t-shirt 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? That’s plastisol for you. 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 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 work deliberately to make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right so 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 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. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order 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 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 turn 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 them up nicely 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 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 ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.