STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the Santa Clara, CA area. For almost 50 years, members of the Santa Clara, CA community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We have the Santa Clara, CA t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may be wondering about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place 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 can have an enigmatic feel. You give your order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop 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 – Make your order.
You know you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, work group, sports team, or something else. You place the order and the Santa Clara, CA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and support during the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. 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 make the screen
Once you determine your design, we get to work on preparing 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. To the screen, we apply a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and the screen is exposed to light. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces the stencil.
If you want a design using multiple colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Now we are ready for the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt 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. 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 any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached 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 add ink on top of the screen and pull 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 more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely so it looks bright 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! 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. 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 do this we introduce the ink to heat. 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. You can rest assured that we have the curing process figured out, so you know your prints will turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them 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 handful of 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.