STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the San Antonio, TX area. People in San Antonio, TX and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. Our San Antonio, TX t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered 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 have an enigmatic feel. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing shop and, a few days later, you have fresh-pressed, neatly boxed t-shirts on your doorstep or waiting for you at the shop. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 – Make your order.
You know you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, work group, sports team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the San Antonio, TX t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer counsel and support during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can work with our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
After you decide on a design, we go about making the screen that will be used to print the design on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and 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 onto 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. For designs with 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 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. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. In order to do this we introduce the ink to heat. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is easy 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and pass them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a few days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.