STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and organizations in the Salem, OR area. People in Salem, OR and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Salem, OR area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. You may be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered 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 may come with an air of mystery. You give your order to your favorite screen printer and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. We wouldn’t blame you if you described it as magic. 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 – Make your order.
You know you want some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, athletic team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Salem, OR t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
! STL Shirt Co. can give you advice and assurance through the entire t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, work with 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 create the screen
Once you determine your design, we get to work on making 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 staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. 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 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.
This is where the ink comes in. 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. 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 a shirt of any color.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We work deliberately to make sure everything is registered and lined 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 across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get 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.
The ink is now 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 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. We know what we’re doing, though, 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! We fold the shirts up nicely and hand the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a handful of days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts printed even faster, we even offer rush printing services.