I’ve been stockpiling solid color fabrics while the holiday sales have been in full-force. I like to write the brand and color name on each fabric before I pre-wash them. That way I’ll know exactly what to re-order if I need more. I love using my Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric to mark my fabric because I can easily write on the selvage edge of each fabric and I don’t have to worry about heat-setting. The only drawback with this pen is that I can’t mark on really dark colors, so I decided to pull out every light color marker and pen that I own and see if any of them would do the job. Notice that none of these markers and pens are intended for fabric. The ones I tested were:
- Sharpie Metallic
- Pilot Gold Marker Extra Fine Tip
- Pen-Touch Gold Medium Point
- Rust-Oleum American Accent Metallic Leafing Pen
- Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen Gold
- Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen Silver
- Gelly Roll Metallic Silver
- MonAmi Pearl Line Silver
- Gelly Roll White
For this specific purpose, I’m not worried about having a pretty line after the fabric is washed. I just want to be able to read it. And, ideally, I would like a marker or pen that I do not need to heat set. I want this particular task to be quick and streamlined. You will want to do your own testing before you use one of these pens on the front of a quilt or on a quilt label.
I grabbed a scrap of Kona coffee (dark brown) and wrote the name of each marker on it. For most of the markers, I used several strokes on each letter of the first word or two, and then single strokes for the rest of the description. Then I heat set just the first 2″ or so along the left hand edge. I waited a day and then asked sweet hubby to run it through the wash when he did the laundry.
Of the nine markers and pens that I tested, I was happy that after my sample was washed, the Sharpie Metallic marker, the Pilot Gold Marker, and the Pen-Touch Gold were still legible on the portion that was not heat set. Of the three, the Sharpie Metallic was the easiest to use. The other two had the kind of tip that you have to keep “pumping” for the ink to dispense. I had to write larger than I would have with a Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric, but I’m happy to do that if it means I can actually read it later. I’ll test the Sharpie Metallic marker out some more when I get around to pre-washing all the fabric I bought, but I think I’ve got a winner.