STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and organizations in the Salinas, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Salinas, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. Our Salinas, CA t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, 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 seem a bit mysterous. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite screen printer 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 want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, club, sports team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Salinas, CA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer counsel and help during the entire 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. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We make the screen
After you have created your design, we go about preparing the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, 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. We place the film with your design on it 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, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen 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 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. It is great 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, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We are very careful 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 pull a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print, 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 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! We aren’t quite done, though. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid so it becomes permanent 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 possible to damage the shirt or the print if you use the wrong temperature or cure it for the wrong length of time. We know what we’re doing, though, 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! We fold the shirts up neatly 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. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, we even offer rush printing services.