STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and businesses in the Thornton, CO area. People in Thornton, CO 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 Thornton, CO 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. Have your questions answered or begin your order by reaching us 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 have an enigmatic feel. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite t-shirt printing screen print shop and receive a package filled with custom-designed, nicely folded t-shirts a few days later. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. 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, school group, sports team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Thornton, CO t-shirt printing journey begins. 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)
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. can give you counsel and support during every step of the t-shirt printing process. Our professional screen printers and designers are available to help you. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design rely on our professional design team. We can also help you select the right shirt and ink colors.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
Once you have created your design, we get to work on preparing the screen that will be used to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed 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. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and the screen is exposed 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 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. Screen printing such as t-shirt 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. Plastisol is ideal 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.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, with each shirt pulled taut and placed on a plate below. We work deliberately to make sure everything is registered and lined up exactly so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and pass 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. For designs with multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it shows up nicely 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! 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 ink from a liquid into a solid so it stays 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 easy 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 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 the shirts 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 just a handful of 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, we even offer rush printing services.