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How to mark fabric

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

What do you like to use? Chalk? Fabric marker?

@alliluplus3 has asked me about my fav options, especially for slippery fabrics. So here's my top tips on what to use and how best to do it...

So I have quite I few different marking utensils that I find work on different fabrics. I have the ones I use most displayed here in my little storage caddy. Below are my tips when selecting something to mark with:

✂️ If using chalk, purchase one in either pink or yellow. Both colors seem to work/show up on a majority of fabrics.

✂️ I like something with a fine tip for most of my marking. I use my Sewline Styla pen for most of my marking on slippery fabrics (like rayon). It has a ceramic tip that helps it glide on top of fabrics rather than getting caught up in the fibers. It is also water soluble and comes out with just a few dabs of water.

✂️ I personally stay clear of air erasable and heat erasable markers for the pure fact that I have had some bad experiences with the chemical still being in the fabric and the lines all coming back.

✂️ I also don't like the cheap felt tip water soluble marking pens because they are too thick, dry up quickly, and don't leave a nice mark on the fabric.

✂️ I like using my clover chalk wheel on most thick fabrics. It leaves a nice fine line and also comes off easily.

✂️ My most used marking pen has to be my Sewline Fabric Pencil. I have pink chalk in it and it acts like a mechanical pencil that I can easily refill. It gives a perfect thin line and is easily removed and you can't accidentally set it into the fabric.

From teaching workshops, I have used nearly every marking utensil under the sun and these are the ones I choose to have in my sewing room. I would love to hear what you mark with and what works for you. I am always open to learning about new methods and tools.

And don't forget send me your sewing questions and if featured in a Tuesday Tip post I'll send you a free PDF pattern of choice!


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