STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Tampa, FL area. People in Tampa, FL and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. Our Tampa, FL t-shirt printing abilities and excellent customer service set us apart. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, 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
Placing a custom t-shirt printing order may come with an air of mystery. 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. 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 – Place your order.
You know you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, school group, sports team, or something else. You place the order and the Tampa, FL t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- What design will be printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. is here to offer guidance and assurance during the entire 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 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 make the screen
After you decide on a design, we go about making the screen that will be used to get your design printed on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your unique parameters, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen for your order. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. That film we printed your design on is placed 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 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.
This is where the ink comes in. T-shirt printing and other screen 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. It is great due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up precisely so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pass a squeegee from end to end of the 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 several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink precisely to where it stays vibrant 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. 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 ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. 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. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will come 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 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, we even offer rush printing services.