Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Terrific Tool Tuesday ~ Fabric Marker Showdown and GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Warning, this post is picture loaded and contains a lot of information! Forgive me in the delay in posting this, as you will see it was a lot of information to go through!

Welcome to another Terrific Tool Tuesday! Today I will be going through permanent fabric markers from a variety of companies, which hopefully will help you in the future if you need to use them! 

Today's showdown includes the following markers:

Jacquard Tee Juice Fabric Markers in Fine Point, Medium Point and Broad Point


Yasutomo Fabricmate Markers in Medium point


Sakura Identi-pen Markers - dual tip markers in Fine and Extra Fine point


Sakura Pigma Micron Pen - Fine Point Pen (05 size)



Crayola Fabric Markers - Medium Point 



Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers - Brush tip marker







I first used fabric markers when I was making onesies for a friend's new baby. I wanted to add just a little saying under the appliques and didn't know which markers to use. I had both the Crayola and Sharpie pens at the time, and I went with Sharpie (although in the blog post I said I used Crayola, this is wrong!). I wasn't happy with the markers because they left a shadow effect on the lettering, which lead me to slowly add more and more markers to my collection to someday do this showdown.

For each of the markers I wrote them on plain white (cheap) cotton, two pieces, one to wash and one control to compare with the washed version for color fading. All of the markers, wash and control pieces, were ironed at cotton setting for 10 seconds, even if they did not say to in the instructions. Then I pinned the wash pieces to a baby blanket and washed them on gentle cycle, cold water, as you would for a quilt. Dried in the dryer, over medium heat, and repeated the process for a total of two washes. Here are my overall findings for all the pens/markers. All the scales are 1-5, 1 being low and 5 being high.


Point style: Hard tip fine
Bleed through: 1 minimal
Colorfast: 4 some fading but not a lot
Ease of writing: 5 easy to write with and sign name
Feathering: 1 little to no
Personal like/dislikes: I liked that they were easy to write with on cotton. They didn't catch too much. The grey pen (new) did not work for me. I doubt I would ever use that color on a quilt, but I did want to include that I did not get it to write well before washing. Overall fade after washing twice is minimal. Comes in a variety of colors. I believe this would be a good pen for quilt labels. 

Wash 1


Wash 2


I was provided with pens/markers from Jaqcaurd to test, thank you so much for their generous support!


Point style: Hard tip medium
Bleed through: 3 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: see likes/dislikes 4 some fading but not a lot
Ease of writing: 5 easy to write with and sign name
Feathering: 2 some, but minimal
Personal like/dislikesPrewash fade after a few minutes. In the picture below the marks on the right were made and allowed to dry for a few minutes. I noticed fading from older marks and made fresh marks on the left and took the picture soon after the marks on the left were made. You can see, especially with the blue and black, the marks faded within a few minutes of applying. As stated, this was before washing and ironing.



Aside from that... The fading from washing was minimal. I liked how smooth they wrote on cotton, but there was some feathering or bleeding. Great selection of colors and even the pink shows up well on the white. I believe these are an OK choice for quilt labels and fabric crafts.

Wash 1

Wash 2

I was provided with pens/markers from Jaqcaurd to test, thank you so much for their generous support!


Point style: Hard tip broad
Bleed through: 5 make sure you have a few layers of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but not a lot
Ease of writing: 4 ok to use, but not to intended to sign name
Feathering: 1 minimal
Personal like/dislikes: Great color saturation and fun to use. I did have an issue when I tried to move the "wash" piece to let it dry, the blotching was from me, not the marker. These would be a lot of fun for kids to make their own shirts or for custom polka-dot onesies. Just be sure to make sure there is a good barrier between whatever you are marking and the back of the shirt or your table top.

Wash 1

Wash 2


I was provided with pens/markers from Jaqcaurd to test, thank you so much for their generous support!



Point style: Hard tip medium
Bleed through: 2 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but really minimal
Ease of writing: 4 easy to write with and sign name
Feathering: 2 some, but minimal
Personal like/dislikes: They were ok to use to sign name and write with. I didn't have the markers catch on the fabric too bad. The prewash colors were bright and come in a great variety of colors. Fading is minimal from wash. Overall I believe these to be a good choice for quilt labels and fabric crafts.


Wash 1

Wash 2

I was provided with pens/markers from Yasutomo to test, thank you so much for their generous support!



Point style: Dual tip markers, hard point in fine and extra fine
Bleed through: 1 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but really minimal
Ease of writing: 3 OK to write with and sign name
Feathering: 2 some, but minimal
Personal like/dislikes: The fine point (more like a medium tip) had some feathering or bleeding when I wrote with it. The colors were bright and bold prewash and there was minimal fading. I love the dual tip, it's like double the markers for your money. Both tips caught on the fabric when I was writing, making it hard to sign, but overall they were OK. These markers would be good for quilt labels and fabric crafts.

Fine Wash 1


Wash 2

Extra Fine Wash 1

Wash 2




Sakura Pigma Micron Pen (Bottom in picture)


Point style: hard point extra fine
Bleed through: 0-1 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but really minimal
Ease of writing: 3 OK to write with and sign name
Feathering: 1 minimal
Personal like/dislikes: The Micron pen is what I used on my previous siggy block swap. It was OK to use with signing my name, although the tip caught on the fabric sometimes. Fading is minimal but there is some fading with washing. As you can see in the first picture, I got it wet before ironing, so this marker needs to be heat set. I believe this pen is good for projects like quilt labels.

Wash 1


Wash 2


Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric (see above pics, top pen)

Point style: gel point pen
Bleed through: 0
Colorfast: almost 5 minimal
Ease of writing: 5 it's like writing with a gel pen
Feathering: 0
Personal like/dislikes: I don't want to gush, but I really love this pen. It was my last purchase, just on a whim, and I am going to go back and buy at least the blue one too (there is a red also). It writes on fabric like a dream and stays. I would definitely recommend it for projects like quilt labels.


Point style: hard point medium
Bleed through: 2 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but minimal
Ease of writing: 3 writing OK, maybe not signing your name
Feathering: 2 feathers or bleeds when you write with it
Personal like/dislikes: I didn't like the colors on these. I just expected them to be brighter and more true to the color on the cap. But aside from that, they did not fade much with washing.  They caught on the fabric when writing, so probably not the best for signing your name. I recommend these markers for fabric crafts.

Wash 1


Wash 2



Point style: brush style tip, medium to fine
Bleed through: 2 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but minimal
Ease of writing: 4 writing OK, signing might be OK on cotton
Feathering: 2 feathers or bleeds when you write with it
Personal like/dislikes: I used these previously on knit onesies and found the tips to be bad for knit. They feathered horribly on the knit, just because the brush style was so soft. On cotton these markers were better. They were OK to write with and had decent colorfastness. Colors were bright before and after washing, even the neon. I like that the package included some neons too, but I don't see where I would use them.

Wash 1


Wash 2


Point style: wax type crayon
Bleed through: 1 make sure you have a layer of protection underneath
Colorfast: 4 some fading but minimal
Ease of writing: 2 not recommended for writing
Feathering: 0-1 minimal
Personal like/dislikes: I picked these up because they were cheap. They are wax, so protect your iron when you set them because they did transfer on to the cotton layer I had on top. The colors were fun and bright and I loved all the colors you got with the package. Great value for your money. I do not recommend them for signing your name, they are more like crayons than markers. I do recommend them for kids' projects or fabric projects. 

Wash 1




Wash 2

 And there you have it. A ton of information to process, and my own opinions. If you have your own experience with some of these markers, please share your opinions in the comments. I hope you have found this information helpful. Most of the above markers can be purchased through Amazon.com or online art stores like Dick Blick.

 And to reward you for sticking around... how about a little giveaway? Jaquard has generously provided me with one 5-color package of Tee Juice Fine Liners pens to share with one of you!


The giveaway is now closed, winner to be announced shortly!

Here are the giveaway details:

Open to everyone, please leave an email address to get in contact with you! Giveaway will be open until 12AM CST Tuesday, November 27th.


  • Mandatory Entry: Comment on this post, please share any experiences you have had with fabric markers, the good, bad and ugly. If you have not had any experience with fabric markers yet, please share what you would mainly use these for. I can't stress this enough, if your email is not linked to your account, please leave an email address to get in contact with you!
  • Bonus entry: Followers, new and old, get one bonus entry. Please leave a separate comment saying how you follow me. RSS feed, Google Friend Connect, Facebook, or Twitter. I can't thank you enough for following me, and it looks like I am getting very close to a 200 GFC follower giveaway!

65 comments

November 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I bought one of those Pigma Micron pens and didn't heat-set my quilt label and I don't remember it getting messy in the wash - maybe it was a different pen though. I recently started on a quilt label using a regular old sharpie and ended up throwing it away - it smells awful and bled/feathered really badly. I could go for that pack of pens to finish up the label in time for a Christmas gift :)

November 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I follow you through Google - thanks for the great comparison posting :)

November 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I have used the Micron pens and I have even used a sharp point Sharpie as well. No significant issues with either.

November 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I'm a follower...that's how I got here today!

November 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I have only used sharpie black pen, it was bleeding a bit but otherwise quite good (may be getting used to it though)...

November 20, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I haven't used any permanent fabric pens yet. I would like them for writing labels or little messages on gifts that I give (i.e. quilts, baby blankets, etc).
alibear167 at gmail

November 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I always use the Sharpie Fine line markers. They work pretty good for me. Thanks for the information and the chance to win.

November 20, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Hmm, I have only used the heat erasable Pilot FriXion pens - for when I wanted something to stay I use a stamp pad. Thank you so much for the review and all the testing, I'm going to try these (if I win or not) to make quilt labels!

November 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Thank you so much for your research and report! I tried a micron pen once, but it had too fine of point and I didn't care for it. I would use this for quilt labels. Thanks for the chance to win.

November 20, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I have the identi-pens that I've used for making quilt labels - it seems to work really well, no bleeding and is permanent. I use Crayola washable markers for marking my quilts for quilting. I love it - comes out in the wash and is a economical option.

November 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM

I have used the Pigma Pens with great success, I like that there are a couple of different sizes.

happy days.
Bev.xoxo

November 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM

ALREADY FOLLOW YOU VIA GFC!

msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

November 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

HI! I'D LIKE MARKERS THAT DON'T DRAG ON THE CLOTH. I USE THEM MOSTLY FOR TAGGING A QUILT.
THANKS FOR SHARING!

msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

November 20, 2012 at 9:18 PM

I've only used markers once and that was to make a quilt label. Would love to try these.
lisamcgriff(at)hotmail(dot)com

November 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Ok. so the next step I would suggest to you is to put away one of your test piece, and tape the other to a board which you have in a room where window light and/or florescent light falls on them to test for lightfastness, which is a different characteristic than washfastness. This information is just as important particularly if you are using it for a piece of fiber art.

I follow you through Blogger.

November 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I'm a new follower via google reader

November 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I have used a fading marker before but that is it. That maker had a fat end, and a small end. The small end didn't even work.

November 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I've been looking for a good marker for making quilt labels and am thankful for your post.

November 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I follow via GFC...thanks for the sweet giveaway!

November 20, 2012 at 10:58 PM

I haven't tried fabric markers yet... But I've been looking into it as I'd like to make quilt labels now that I started quilting. And I'd like to draw designs onto some clothes for my kids. Thanks for a chance to win! :)
bcgeates at netbistro dot com

November 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I'm already a gfc follower and now like you on fb! :)
bcgeates at netbistro dot com

November 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM

What a super post! I love that you did all this work, how great! My only experience with markers has been with the Micro pens. I use the pens to trace my patterns for embroidery. I've had no problems so far. I usually embroider my quilt labels because I was afraid of the ink fading. Now I know different, hehe. Thank you for this great info!

Thank you and Jaquard for a super giveaway and a chance to win.

usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

November 21, 2012 at 3:14 AM

Thank you for your thorough and honest reviews! I've only used the micron pens and I didn't find them very easy to use - I'm going to track down the pentel gel roller fabric pen, hopefully it's available in the UK or online!

November 21, 2012 at 5:14 AM

I would use these markers to create labels for my handmade and sewn projects. Its something I have been wanting to do.

November 21, 2012 at 6:34 AM

I've been using the Sharpie markers on fabric which does fade after time but I just haven't had the chance to test others out. GREAT resource of a blog post - thank you for your hard work! WOuld love to win that set - thanks for the chance. amycav at hotmail dot com

November 21, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Yay I am already a follower - you only need 3 more and you are a 200 - well done you!!! I forgot to say I use the Shrpies for the siggy blocks for the bees I am in.

November 21, 2012 at 7:24 AM

I have tried fabric markers only once. I found a inexpensive small set on a sale rack (I think they were roseart?). I didn't like them too much. They feathered a lot and just didn't work the way I thought they would. I was using them just for putting faces on a cloth doll (simple face, no shading or extreme details) and only used them on one doll. Embroidery was much nicer than the pens (though the pens weren't horrible--just not that great).

I assumed the pens were just low quality (you get what you pay for!) and since I didn't pay much for them (a few dollars) I wasn't too upset over it.

Thanks for the giveaway. I'd love to try out some higher caliber pens.

November 21, 2012 at 7:31 AM

I am looking for a wonderful fabric marker right now! I like the ones that disappear when you iron over them! Thanks for the information and the giveaway!! My email address is jenjeb@juno.com

November 21, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Following you on flicker!! My email address is jenjeb@juno.com

November 21, 2012 at 8:03 AM

I have not used fabric markers, but I would use them for t-shirts.

November 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I have not used fabric markers yet. I have used fabric paint. Thanks for sharing about the differnt markers.
quilting[dash]lady[at]comast[dot]net

November 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I am a new follower on your FB

November 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The only experience I have with fabric is years ago (30+ years) using Crayon that you colored onto paper and then ironed onto fabric. I didn't like the results, some areas were nice and bright but other areas were badly faded. Thank you for your review of different markers, sounds and looks like a great improvement over what I had tried and I would like the chance to use them.
thelady at hotmail.com

November 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I have followed you on Goggle Friend Connect for awhile and just liked you on facebook.

thelady at hotmail.com

November 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

would love to win those to try thanks

November 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I have not used fabric markers yet. I would love to use them to make quilt labels, though! It's getting expensive to print it on my fabric at home...

November 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I have not used any fabric pens yet. But when I do it will be for appliquing.

Anonymous
November 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Thank you for the chance! I have only had bad experiences with markers when kids have left them in their pants pockets and they've gone thru the washer... LOL

I'd love to try any of these fine point ones though!

darlene
kittyklaws13411@yahoo.com

November 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I have tried only fine line markers for signing labels and have yet to find one that is smooth enough / permanent enough. Could be I am too picky.

I would use these to have my nieces and nephews draw on muslin and then add fabric borders for quilt blocks. Thanks for the giveaway.

November 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I haven't used any of these, but this was a fantastic post!!! Thank you for taking the time to test so thoroughly!

November 22, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Havn't used fabric markers yet but it would be great to use it for my little girls shirts for decoration :) Many thanks for the great givaway!

November 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I never used fabric markers but I am willint go try.
saruqa (at) gmail (dot) com

November 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I follow you by google friends connect

bladerunner5
November 22, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I buy clothing at goodwill and alter it to something I'd wear - I'll take a large ugly dress and make a skirt out of the bottom half, or take a good pair of jeans and cover the fraying at the bottom with 3 inches of fun fabric. I've been wanting to add to the fun with fabric markers, but I've had some bad experiences. I guess I've been buying the wrong ones because I've had no end of problems with catching, feathering, and bleeding through. Or a color you're using a lot of will run out, and then you have to get another entire package just to find out the dye lot is different. Or that it all washes out, regardless of how much care you took with it. Or finding out the only yellow in the pack is a neon yellow when everything else is more earth-tones. All kinds of joy like that.
bldrnrpdx (at) ay oh ell (dot) com

November 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I haven't used fabric markers because if I spend a lot of time on something I don't want to ruin in by using a marker that will bleed.

November 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I would use them on onesies for the babies (there are many) in our family! I bought fancy Japanese markers for this before, but they were more like paintbrushes and hard to control.

November 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I'm a follower; thanks for the chance!

November 24, 2012 at 2:06 AM

I am a follower on everything you have listed!!!!

Thank ou for the wonderful Giveaway!!!

God Bless.....

November 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win.

November 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I haven't used fabric markers before - just fabric paints. I think the markers would be easier to work with and make cute t-shirts and sweatshirts

November 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

WOW love this showdown. I have printed it out to help me. I use Marvy and 0tombow markers but haven't used fabric markers yet.

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