Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Marking fabrics

When sewing, there are always pattern markings you need to transfer to your fabric. I grew up using dressmaker's carbon paper, tailor's tacks or chalk but since working in the garment industry where they used pens with disappearing ink, I became converted and ever since used special pens sold for quilters such as this one. Needless to say, they are not available in the Philippines, so I always had to buy them abroad.

One day, it occurred to me to test the washable markers sold for children's art. I bought 3 packs at National Bookstore, draw some lines on a piece of white fabric I had lying around, ironed it (heat sets some dyes making them more difficult if not impossible to wash out)  and threw it in the washing machine. I was really happy to find that all the marks washed out! 

Now, not only do I save quite a bit of money as I don't have to buy expensive quilter's pens from abroad, but I also have a selection of different colors. This can be really useful if you are having many fitting challenges, and aren't sure which was the latest change. I use a different color every time I have to mark a new sewing line so always know which was the latest adjustment! 

WARNING: Even though I have been using washable markers on all sorts of fabrics for some time now, I still test every new pack I buy and would highly recommend you do the same before drawing all over your beautiful fabric with them. You never know if a manufacturer may change their ink recipe, or if an ink reacts to the heat from an iron differently on some fabrics. I also keep my pens separate from my daughter's art supplies and mark them with some colored tape, so I don't accidentally use one of her permanent markers!


  1. Love this post. I've been looking for washable markers. :)

  2. Do you still offer classes? Please email me at tishkibs@yahoo.com. Thanks

  3. hello, may available class pa po kayo? I'm interested kc, please kindly email at abes711@gmail.com . Salamat

  4. This is a really useful tip (a felt tip!). Especially about testing first. Thanks!

  5. Hi do u still have sewing classes open? Email fejee_06@yahoo.com thanks godbless

  6. Still offer classes? Im interested. Email aprilr_24@yahoo.com.ph