STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and organizations in the Spokane, WA area. People in Spokane, WA and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. Our Spokane, WA t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or start 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 can 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. 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 determined you need some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, club, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Spokane, WA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on the:
- Brand, cut, style, material, and color of the shirts
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. can give you guidance and assurance through the entire 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 rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
Once you determine your design, we go about making the screen that allows us to get your design printed 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 and 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. Plastisol is ideal 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 line everything 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 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 more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely 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.
Now your awesome design is 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. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. To make this happen we have to apply heat to the ink. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is 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!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just 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 ready in a week or less, we even offer rush printing services.