Monday, October 26, 2015

All about Fabric Marking on Fiber Postcards

October 2015
Sheree McKee

Keep your specialty markers away from family markers 
or you might be disappointed when you really need them!

Eventually, you will need to address the back of your fiber postcards for correspondence and mailing. It's best to experiment with different marking methods as each type gives different results.

There are many marking options available, including permanent ink pens, gel pens, fabric markers, rubber stamp inks, inkjet transfer printing, inkjet direct printing and more.   There are also white inks suitable for dark fabrics, and metallic inks for special touches.

Nancie V. used three colors of marker pens on fine cotton

Metallic options
Both my never-used whites failed to  
write and appeared dried up!
Perhaps this color sits on the 
store shelf  too long with little demand

Since fabric postcards are never washed, you don't really have to worry about looking for permanent inks.  However, permanent ink might not fade as fast as traditional markers.

Most fabric postcards are also made with textile backs.  Some are created with card stock or different writeable surfaces.  These varying backs can affect the quality of handwritten or printed text.

Cardstock with pigment ink and rubberstamp
Yes, you can stitch 
through card stock 
I'll blog about that in the future!
Judy H. from Canada used 
muslin backing and Zig
Memory System marker
Lynn J. used pen on card stock and a cute red rubberstamp

Sometimes I run into trouble when using fabric markers for writing my postcards out.   This usually occurs when I attempt handwriting on rough fabric surfaces, but not on card stock or Tyvek postcard backs.

We've all spent time creating thoughtful fabric postcards to share with others, and it hurts when we spoil the backing.  Here's some insight I've discovered ~

  1. Markers that blur, wick or run
  2. Pens that skip in the middle of writing text
  3. Dull ink without solid saturation or color
  4. Uneven surface due to texture in the postcard front face 

INKJOY test on fabric, I had to trace over twice 
on the orange and green. 
Not very saturated gel colors on fabric.

My Fav Sharpie Pen !

  1. Try handwriting on plain cotton fabric BEFORE it is fused to the back of postcard, because synthetic fusibles often wick through fabrics during ironing, causing resistance.
  2. Use high thread-count backing fabrics or microfibers for a smoother and a finer writing surface (See Denier details here)
  3. Be aware that some synthetic fibers often repel inks, use natural fibers such as cotton, rayon, silk
  4. Trace over text a second time (somewhat challenging)
  5. Write slowly and evenly
  6. Store your specialty pens away from family with tightly closed caps

EZ QUILTING - Nice quality but chunky and thick results

MARVY ARTIST - Two tip sizes on each end are very helpful

SHARPIE - Fine Points come in many modern colors

  1. Make samples of different inks on different surfaces to keep and review.  
  2. Be sure to label them for recalling which markers and methods are working.
SAKURA Pigma makes a variety of tips sizes and basic colors

PILOT roller balls come in several tip sizes

SAKURA permanent Identi-pens

I will cover inkjet printing and transfer in a future blog post, stay tuned.  You might like the link below to a previous blog article  
on using markers for art:

Thanks!  ShereeSews in M!ch!gan



Compare Stamping Inks on Fabric by Craft Test Dummies

Writing on Fabric by Cheryl Lynch

Marking on Quilts by Sandra Hatch

How to Heat-Set Sakura Pigma at LoveBugStudios


Yasutomo FabricMate Superfine at Dharma Trading

Zig Fabricolor by Kuretake

Pilot - gel - roller ball - marker pens 

Sakura Identi and Pigma pens

EZ Quilting

Marvy Artist by Uchida


InkJoy by Papermate Facebook