STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and businesses in the Santa Ana, CA area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Santa Ana, CA and throughout the country for over 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Santa Ana, CA area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or place your order by reaching us at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders can seem a bit mysterous. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing shop and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. 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 – Place your order.
You’ve decided you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, school group, sports team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Santa Ana, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. will offer counsel and support during the entire t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, 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 have created your design, we get to work on 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 unique parameters, 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 but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This creates the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple 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. T-shirt printing and other screen 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? What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. 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.
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 line everything up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and pass a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right so it shows up nicely 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.
Now your awesome design is on your shirts! We aren’t quite done, though. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. This means the ink must be transformed into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. 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 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 the shirts up neatly and pass the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a few 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 printed even faster, use our rush printing services.