STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, groups, and businesses in the St. Louis, MO area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of St. Louis, MO and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the St. Louis, MO t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, 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 put in your t-shirt printing 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. One might go so far as to call it magic, but we aren’t one to toot our own horn. 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 need to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, club, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and the St. Louis, MO t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, 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
! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer advice and support through every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. 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
After you decide on a design, we go about making the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. 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. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, but the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we go through the same process for for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Now we are ready for 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. That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We work deliberately to line everything up exactly so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and pull a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt in your order. For designs with several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely to where it stays vibrant 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. 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 so it becomes permanent 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 with temperatures that are too high. 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!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up nicely and hand 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, check out our rush printing services.