I have a project coming up that involves writing on fabric. The ladies in quilt guild were talking about what fabric marker works best, and I wanted to try it out.
So I set up my own test to see which pen/marker performed that best. I have 5 different marking pens/markers.
Pigma Micron Marking Pen in Black .08 size
This pen was recommended to me many times. It comes in many sizes and colors. It's first purpose is not for permanent fabric pen, but I have used it many times.
Sharpie Permanent Marker in Black Fine Point
When I think of permanent marker, this is usually the thing that comes to mind first. I can always find one around the house.
Tulip Brand Fabric Marker in Dark Blue
I had a stash of these from previous craft projects with the kids. The black marker is long gone, but dark blue will do just fine for this test.
Dritz 3087 The Fine Line Permanent Fabric Marker in Black
This is the pen that was highly recommended at the most recent quilt guild meeting. I am curious to see how it holds up.
Pilot Frixion Erasable Pen
I know this is not a permanent marker, but I have also heard stories of quilters not being able to get it’s marks out, long after using heat and other things.
I marked a scrap of cotton fabric with each pen. With the Friction and the Micron pens, I had to go over the letters multiple times to make them show up well enough. I underlined them with one swipe of the pen so you could see how light and thin they are.
For my test, I tried not to use any heat. I know that some inks need heat to set and I wanted to see how well the inks do on their own.
I took my fabric scrap and put it in the sink with warm soapy water and let it sit for two hours. Then I hung it to dry.
This is how it looks afterwards.
This one didn’t seem to fade at all, but I did notice after where I wrote over one of the printed polka dots on the fabric, the ink didn’t take as well. It was the same way in the before pictures.
This one is 90% disappeared. But it is still there. Remember, I did not apply any heat to it.
This one bled out a bit. You can’t tell from a distance. But it is enough to soften all the edges and not look as nice.
This one didn’t seem to change. But I did notice, like the Tulip marker, that the ink didn’t take as well where I wrote over the printed polka dots on the fabric.
This one didn’t change at all
Overall, I would recommend the Dritz Fine Line Permanent Marker. It was easy to use. The line stayed true, and I didn't have to write over it multiple times.
Hopefully you find this helpful in your future quilt pen writing adventures.
Have fun quilting!