STL Shirt Co. is one of the best t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the Stockton, CA area. We have been serving the screen printing and embroidery needs of the people of Stockton, CA and throughout the country for over 45 years. We have the Stockton, CA 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. Ask us questions or start 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 come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite screen printer 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 – Place your order.
You know you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or something else. You place the order and that is where the Stockton, CA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you place your shirt order, you will have to decide on the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. can give you guidance and help during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our expert screen printing artists and designers are at your disposal. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, work with 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 create the screen
After you have created your design, we go about preparing the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing team 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. That film we printed your design on is placed 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 is how we create 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. T-shirt printing and other screen printing usually 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? What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. 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.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We work deliberately to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pull a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print. 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 so it shows up nicely and retains the sharp lines from your original design. Lucky for you, our t-shirt printing team has mad skills.
STEP FOUR – The ink cures.
The ink is now 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 stays on your t-shirts. To make this happen 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 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!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold them up neatly and pass the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a few 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, check out our rush printing services.