STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Sterling Heights, MI area. People in Sterling Heights, MI and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We have the Sterling Heights, MI t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. We are sure you have more questions about what we can do for you, how we do it, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or place 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 can seem a bit mysterous. You give your order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop and, a few days later, you have fresh-pressed, neatly boxed t-shirts on your doorstep or waiting for you at the shop. 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 determined you want to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming occassion, work group, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and the Sterling Heights, MI t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will 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. can give you guidance and help through every step of the 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. Our experienced staff can advise you on the best shirt or combination of colors to use for your order.
STEP TWO – We prepare the screen
Once you determine your 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. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing staff will select the best mesh screen for your order. We then coat that screen with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. 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 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.
Now we are ready for the ink. 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. That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol works well 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.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to line everything up exactly so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We apply ink onto the screen and pass 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, and if your design has multiple 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.
Now your awesome design is on your shirts! But there is still one more step. 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 so it stays on your t-shirts. To do this we introduce the ink to heat. 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. You can rest assured that we have the curing process figured out, so you know your prints will come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up nicely and pass the finished product off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just 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.