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The Dos and Don’ts of Fabric Marking: Tips for Perfect Results

Every sewing project requires multi-step processes, and understanding the ins and outs of each step will make it easier to create your ideal finished products every time. One piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is fabric marking.

During just about any professional or DIY project, you’ll have to make cuts in your fabric to create the right size, and marks are necessary to know where to cut and how much. You don’t want to make your fabric marks with just any tool; for the best results, it’s important to understand which items are best for the job and why.

Best Fabric Marking Tools

There is no one-size-fits-all marking tool. Different fabric markers will work better for specific materials based on what they’re made of and how they are applied. Take a closer look at these popular fabric markers and how to know when to use them:

Water-Soluble Pens

Leave the Sharpie in the drawer and pick up a water-soluble pen instead when you need to mark pieces of fabric. While permanent markers can bleed through and show up in the finished product, these pens wash off easily with water once you no longer need your marks.

Water-soluble pens are great for making points and circles, as they have a precise tip. However, avoid using them on dark or more delicate fabrics, as their marks can be hard to see with darker shades, and they may stain thinner materials.

Chalk Wheels

Chalk wheels are handy sewing tools that make it easy to mark fabric with chalk without getting it all over your hands. These marking tools make very thin lines, allowing for discreet marking that washes off easily. The powder in chalk wheels is known to last for a long time, so if you need your marks to stay without fading, this is a good tool to use.

Keep in mind that chalk wheels are one of the more expensive options when it comes to fabric markers. They are also less precise than pen-style marking tools, so don’t use them if you’re trying to create dots, circles, or perfectly straight lines.

Fabric Pencils

Even though their quality can vary depending on the brand, fabric pencils are known as one of the more dependable fabric markers. Fabric pencils can make clear, fine lines easily. Though their marks are easiest to see on dark materials, they can also show up well on lighter materials if you use a darker shade.

Just don’t use one without a sharpener on hand.

Tailor’s Tacks

Not all fabric markers take the same approach to creating a mark on your fabric. Tailor’s tacks are a method of making marks on materials without any drawing. For this strategy, you create two small holes close to each other on your fabric and pull a piece of brightly-colored thread through it, creating a clear signal of where to cut.

The most obvious benefits of tailor’s tacks are the fact that a piece of thread is easy to see no matter the color of your material, and this mark won’t ever fade like marker, chalk, or pencils.

But applying tailor’s tacks takes more time and creates permanent holes in your fabric. So you’ll want to avoid using these for thin fabrics or certain thick materials, like vinyl and leather.

Tailor’s Chalk

One of the most classic fabric markers is tailor’s chalk, which tends to last a long time and create clear, visible lines on many types of fabric. Tailor’s chalk is known to break relatively easily. Luckily, this method of fabric marking is one of the more inexpensive options.

As with pencils, don’t use tailor’s chalk without keeping a sharpener handy, especially if you need to create fine lines or precise markings.

Tips for Successful Fabric Marking

No matter which fabric markers you choose for your projects, always test your chosen method on a spare swatch of fabric before you apply it to the real thing. Most fabric markers can work on several fabric types, but you’ll want to ensure your product works first.

Additionally, keep multiple colors on hand for various shades of fabric.

GoldStar Tool: Your One-Stop Shop for Fabric Markers

Sewing enthusiasts trust GoldStar Tool for high-quality products every time. Find all kinds of fabric markers online or in-store for your next project today.