Color Magnet with Tjaps

Courtesy of Dharma Trading Company

"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."
Dharma Trading Company


  • 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-shirt
    • Pinafore Dress
    • Girls Asymmetrical Tank Top
    • Dharma Long Sleeve One Piece
    • Femenine Fit Softee Short Sleeve
    • Mary Top
  • 3/4 Sleeve Feminine Fit Softee V-Neck
  • Selection of Procion MX Colors and Soda Ash or iDye Natural
  • Synthrapol Detergent
  • Soda Ash Fixer
  • Plexiglass Sheet
  •  Freezer Paper
  • Dyer’s Salt (or rock salt, kosher salt or other non-iodized salt)
  • Old towels

First be sure to prewash all your garments with Synthrapol 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 2
Wrap the plexiglass 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 3
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.

Step 4
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
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.

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 6
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 7
Once the Color Magnet is dry you simply tub dye your garments with Procion MX Dye or use iDye, which can beused in the washing machine.

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

Step 8
After you rinse, wash (with hot water and Synthrapol Detergent) and dry your garments you will be ready to hit the streets in your new monochromatic style!

Finished project

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Color Magnet with Tjaps