STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Springfield, MA area. People in Springfield, MA and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. Our Springfield, MA t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin your order by reaching 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 give your order to your favorite screen printer and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. 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 – Place your order.
You’ve decided you want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, school group, sports team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Springfield, MA t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
Don’t sweat it if you are intimidated by the thought of creating a design and making all these choices! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and support through 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, rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
After you determine your design, we get to work on making the screen that allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. That film we printed your design on is placed 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 is how we create the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Then, it is time to add the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing typically 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 any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We are very careful to make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order, and if your design has multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink just right to where it looks bright 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! 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. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid that will stay in place on your t-shirts. In order 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 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 turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts 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. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.