STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, families, and businesses in the Springfield, IL area. People in Springfield, IL and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Springfield, IL area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or begin your order by giving us a call at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders may seem a bit mysterous. You give your order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop 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 – Make 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 the Springfield, IL t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer guidance and assurance during every step of the 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 create 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 desired end results, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. We then coat that screen with a substance called emulsion, which is sensitive to light. We place the film with your design on it on the screen and the screen is exposed 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 produces 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.
This is where the ink comes in. 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 is ideal 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.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, and each shirt is placed 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 apply ink onto the screen and pull a squeegee from end to end of the screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated 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 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.
You can now see the design on your shirts! But there is still one more step. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. To do this we have to apply heat to the ink. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is possible 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, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold them up nicely and pass them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a few 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, we even offer rush printing services.