STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and organizations in the Waco, TX area. For almost 50 years, members of the Waco, TX community and beyond have counted on us for all of their screen printing and embroidery needs. We have the Waco, TX 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 our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or place your order by calling us 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 put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite printing 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. 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 – Make your order.
You’ve determined you need some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming event, club, athletic team, or something else. You place the order and the Waco, TX t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink type and color(s)
- What design will be printed
“But I’m not a graphic designer,” you exclaim. Not to worry! STL Shirt Co. can give you counsel and help during the entire t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design 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 prepare the screen
After you decide on a design, we go about preparing 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 team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. 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. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This produces 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. 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 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.
We then secure the screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt 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 multiple colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it looks bright and retains the sharp lines in the 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. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. This means we have to turn the ink from a liquid into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. To do this we have to apply heat to the ink. Ink curing is a science, and it’s easy to damage the shirt or the print when you don’t use the correct temperature or amount of time. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will turn out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold the shirts up nicely and hand the finished product off to you. We will package them up and have your shirts or other printed items ready in only a handful of days. Ask us about having your order shipped to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.