Introduction: Using Color Magnet With Copper Stamps (tjaps)

We love tjaps*, you might have noticed, but sometimes we just don’t want to pull out the wax to play around with them. We also love Jacquard’s Color Magnet, and we thought tjaps and Color Magnet would be a match made in heaven. We weren’t disappointed! This is a fun, easy project and a great way to liven up a plain garment or print some fun yardage.

*Tjaps (pronounced Jops or Chops), have been made and used on the island of Java for over a century. They are handmade of copper strips, carefully cut, shaped and soldered into fabulous shapes and patterns. They are used by Batik artists in Java by dipping them into hot wax, shaking off the excess, and then stamping the wax onto the cloth. But they also can be used for much more!

Step 1: Let's Get Started

Here's a list of supplies you'll need:

Indonesian Copper Tjap

Alternative - Carve a stamp or store bought stamp

Jacquard Color Magnet

Soft Rubber Brayer

Blank Garments - plain jersey will give the best print

We used: Gildan Children’s T, Pinafore Dress, Girls Asymmetrical Tank Tunic, Dharma Long Sleeve One Piece, Femenine Fit Softee Short Sleeve, Mary Top, 3/4 Sleeve Feminine Fit Softee V-Neck

Fiber Reactive Procion Dye - We used some of the new Limited Edition SpringTones 2015 SpringTones!

Dharma Professional Textile Detergent

Soda Ash Fixer

Optional, and other stuff you need:

Plastic Glass

Freezer Paper

Aluminum Foil

Dyer’s Salt - or rock salt, kosher salt or other non-iodized salt

Old towels

Step 2: Preparing Your Fabric

First be sure to pre-wash all your garments with Dharma Professional Textile Detergent to make sure there isn’t any fabric softener or other finishing products on the fabric, or oils or fingerprints. Dry as you normally do.

Step 3: Get Ready for Color Magnet!

Wrap the plastic glass in the aluminum foil. This helps with clean-up and the texture helps get more Color Magnet on the brayer. Put a few spoonfuls of Color Magnet on the foil. You don’t need tons, but you want to cover the brayer with a thick layer.

Step 4: Roll It On

Lay out your garment with some folded towels under the section you want to stamp. Old tjaps are often not really flat. Some cushion to push and rock the tjap on will help get a better print.

To keep the Color Magnet from going through the garment to the other side, put a piece of Freezer Paper, or something else impermeable to liquids inside the garment, under the area you want to print. Next, grab your tjap and play around with where you want to stamp it. Once you know where you are going to place it, take your loaded brayer and go over the surface of the tjap. Make sure to roll across the whole surface and over the ends of the design so you don’t miss any details.

Don’t be afraid to go over it a few times; it’s hard to see just how loaded the tjap is and you don’t want to have too little on there.

Step 5: Places Everyone...

Position your tjap an inch or so above the garment and then press it straight down. Gently rock it and press all around edges and in the middle to make sure you get good contact with the whole tjap face. Carefully lift up the tjap to reveal your print.

Step 6: Pro Tip

You can do a test print on a piece of paper before doing a print on your garment. Just be sure to brayer on more Color Magnet after the test.

Step 7: Let It Dry

Set your garment aside to dry while you do more printing. You will run out of garments before you run out of ideas for ways to print with your tjaps. Try combining tjaps on one garment for different effects. Try multiple prints of the same tjap, some with less Color Magnet to shadow the more distinct ones.

Step 8: Dye It Up

Once the Color Magnet is dry you simply tub dye your garments with Fiber Reactive Dye. For more information on tub dyeing check out our instructions here.

The real magic happens in the dye bath! You’ll see the print start to appear after just a few minutes in the dye bath and it will darken even further when you add the soda ash. You can also use Color Magnet with iDye, Dharma and Jacquard Acid Dyes and on silk, cotton or rayon.

Step 9: Rinse It Out

After you rinse, wash (with hot water and Professional Textile Detergent) and dry your garments you will be ready to hit the streets in your new monochromatic style!