STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and organizations in the Sacramento, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Sacramento, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. Our Sacramento, CA t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may have more questions about what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or start 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 may come with an air of mystery. You give your order to your favorite screen printer 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 know you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, school group, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Sacramento, CA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- Design to be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. can give you guidance and assurance during every step of the 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. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
Once you decide on a design, we go about preparing the screen that allows us 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 staff will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. To the screen, we apply a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and we expose the screen to light. Light is blocked from reaching the screen wherever the design is on the film and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
This is where the ink comes in. T-shirt printing and other screen printing typically 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 because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pass 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 several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where it shows up nicely 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.
You can now see the design on your shirts! But there is still one more step. 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 that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order to make this happen we introduce the ink to heat. 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, 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. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts printed even faster, check out our rush printing services.