STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, groups, and businesses in the Wichita, KS area. People in Wichita, KS and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We stand out as the t-shirt printing company of choice in the Wichita, KS area due to our commitment to quality and service to our customers. You may be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or start your order by calling 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 come with an air of mystery. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite screen printer 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. 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’ve decided you want some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, athletic team, or something else. You contact your shop to place the order and the Wichita, KS t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you place your shirt order, you will have to choose and specify the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. can give you counsel and help during the entire 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. 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 allows us to get your design printed on your shirts. First, we print the design on a transparent sheet of film. Depending on the specifics of your order, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. To the screen, we apply 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. 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 is how we create the stencil.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, 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? That’s plastisol for you. Plastisol works well for screen printing due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
Next, we mount the prepared screens to a printing press, stretching each shirt on a plate below. Our t-shirt printing artists take great care to make sure everything is registered and lined up precisely so to make sure the design is printed in the right position on your t-shirt. We apply ink on top of the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. This process is repeated for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has several colors, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. It takes skill to get the ink precisely so it looks bright and keeps the sharp lines in the 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 they aren’t ready to go yet. Once the ink is applied as a viscous liquid, it must be cured. In other words, 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. 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. 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 hand them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a few days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. And if you are in a jam and need your t-shirts printed even faster, check out our rush printing services.