We have more than 1,000 batik fabric designs at Majestic Batiks and every one of them started with a tjap.
Pronounced, chop, a tjap is the copper stamp that is used to put wax on fabric to create the beautiful and intricate designs you love on batiks. We start our tjap designs in a number of different ways. We’re inspired by just about everything. A photo, sketch or natural element can trigger our creative juices and get us thinking about a new stamp design. Our latest line features pine cones, leaves, trees and other foliage that are inspired by the natural world.
Once we’ve settled on a sketch, we send it over to our production team in Indonesia. They take it and manipulate it in computer software so there will be no obvious repeats. You may have heard this term if you have done a one-block wonder. In standard quilting cottons the fabric design repeats every 12, 24 or 36 inches depending on the size of the design motif.
In batik-making, the stamp forms a design with wax, then the stamp is picked up, moved right next to the where the wax was just applied and stamped again. This process is repeated across the entire bolt of fabric, so it is very important for the edges of the stamp to flow into each other so the repeat can’t be detected.
When we’ve approved a digital proof of the new tjap design, it is sent to the artisans who make the tjaps. This is a process that is completed entirely by hand as the artisans manipulate the copper to recreate the digital version of the stamp. Since the designs are so intricate, this step in the design process can take weeks.
Then it is time to actually make the fabric! Our team in the states and our artisans in Indonesia will choose color combinations we think will look great with the new stamp and samples are created. The samples are all dyed in small sections, so different colors and tjaps are applied to create all the variety you’d see in one collection in a single bolt of fabric.
From there we review the samples to determine which ones we want to add to our collection. We reject a lot of fabrics at this step. Sometimes a color combination you thought would be amazing just doesn’t work when you see it in real life.
Then it is finally time to order bolts and start shipping them to quilt shops so you can make beautiful quilts and fabric creations with Majestic Batiks fabrics.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at what goes into designing batik fabrics. Check out our website to see where you can purchase Majestic Batiks at a quilt shop near you.