STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in the Worcester, MA area. People in Worcester, MA and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We are commited to making the Worcester, MA t-shirt printing process an enjoyable one for each and every customer we serve. We are sure you be wondering about our capabilities and services, our methods, or how to place your order. Have your questions answered or begin 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 can seem a bit mysterous. You put in your t-shirt printing 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 – Make your order.
You’ve determined you need to have some t-shirt printing done for some upcoming event, school group, sports team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and that is where the Worcester, MA t-shirt printing journey begins. When you order your shirts, you will have to determine the:
- Shirt brand, style, material, and color
- Ink colors or special effects
- Design to be printed
! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and assurance during every step of the 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, work with 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 make the screen
After you determine your design, we get to work on 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 desired end results, our t-shirt printing experts will select the best mesh screen to use in printing your shirts. We then coat that screen 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. 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.
If your design involves multiple ink colors, we repeat the process above, making a screen 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 typically 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 is ideal 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 line everything up exactly so we know that your design will end up in the right place on your t-shirt. We add ink onto the screen and use a squeegee across the entire screen to smooth and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt we print, and if your design has more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying 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.
You can now see the design on your shirts! But there is still one more step. The ink goes on as a thick liquid, but in order to stay on the shirt, it has to be cured. In other words, the ink must be transformed into a solid so it becomes permanent on your t-shirts. In order to make this happen 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 come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
Once the ink is cured, your t-shirts are officially printed! We fold them up neatly and pass them 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. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts printed even faster, use our rush printing services.