STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies used by individuals, families, and organizations in the St. Paul, MN area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of St. Paul, MN and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the St. Paul, MN 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 what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or place your order by reaching us at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders can have an enigmatic feel. You give your order to your favorite screen printer 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. 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 determined you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, work group, athletic team, or some other use. You place the order and that is where the St. Paul, MN t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer guidance and support through the entire t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. Need help designing a logo that perfectly captures your vision? You can work with our professional design team. If you want to know which shirt or colors will work best for your needs, we can help with that too.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
After you have created your design, we get to work on 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 experts 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 is how we create 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.
Then, it is time to add the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing typically 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 works well for screen printing because it withstands washes, moves with the fabric material of your shirt, and shows up vibrantly on a shirt of any color.
We then secure the 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 to make sure the design is printed in the right position 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, and if your design has more than one color, 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! 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 liquid ink into a solid so it becomes permanent 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 possible 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!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up nicely and hand the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within only a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. If you find your self in a tight spot and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.