STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies for individuals, groups, and businesses in the Surprise, AZ area. For almost 50 years, members of the Surprise, AZ community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Surprise, AZ area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. You may have more questions about our capabilities and services, how we do it, or how to place your order. Ask us questions 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 may have an enigmatic feel. You give your order to your favorite printing 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. 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 determined you need 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 that is where the Surprise, AZ t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer counsel and support during the entire t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. If you need help coming up with a killer logo or shirt design, 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 create the screen
Once you determine your design, we go about preparing the screen that will be used 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 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 creates 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.
Then, it is time to add the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt 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 any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up exactly so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and use 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.
The ink is now on your shirts! But there is still one more step. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. In other words, we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. In order 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 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up nicely and pass them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a few 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, use our rush printing services.