I have been thinking about batik stamps, or "tjaps", today. A new shipment is due in soon at Dharma Trading. When I have a chance, when the pictures are posted before the tjaps go up for sale, I like to try them out by making virtual batiks to see how the patterns lay out. Some stamps that are not immediately obviously beautiful at first glance, make interesting layouts. Sometimes better than the beautiful individual patterns. Of course, often I don't get a chance to buy any of my favorites.
Once I own a batik stamp, I can scan it (protecting the scanner glass from scratches, and leaving the lid up in a dark room). Then put it into Photoshop or Illustrator (or Appleworks) and reduce the size of the image and put many of them together into different arrays. And then change the colors. That's what I call virtual batik.
As a fabric design, then I can print the array on a piece of 8.5x11 fabric, and I have a piece of patterned fabric to use in a quilt or piece into a jacket or vest design. This design is on a much smaller scale than the original stamp, of course. Also, I can use two stamps together which might not be the right size to use together in real life. Those with larger format printers could get the treated fabric in rolls, and have measureable yardages of fabric. Of course the inkjet ink is expensive.
This virtual batik is made from two of the stamps which I was sorriest not to get a chance at. Since I don't own them, I can't, I think, use the image for anything real. But probably nobody will go crazy if I put it here as an example. These two tjaps were used at their correct relative sizes, as a tryout array. The butterfly is a rectangle that is smaller in both dimensions than the square of leaves. So I laid it out with one corner of each together, then put the other leaf squares around the butterfly rectangle in an offset pattern so they fill the space. This is the way a large square and a small square can be a space-filling tessellation.
I think one of the things that makes this a very successful pattern, besides the unobvious layout, is the difference in visual texture between the various leaves, and the solid leaves and the more finely textured butterfly. Many individually beautiful stamps do not have any variation in texture.
Labels: fabric design