Best Fabric Markers for 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guide
Updated: December 28, 2020
Three weeks ago, we were asked to give a talk at a local church that would help parents connect more with their kids.
When we were gathering ideas for the talk, Jacky came up with an excellent suggestion. She talked about how a friend of hers who had been an absentee mother to her child was able to reconnect with the child by doing small fabric decorating projects using permanent markers.
So, we called Jacky’s friend and had her walk us through the best fabric markers and how to use them. We also did some research online and bought a couple of models which we used to design the t-shirts we were going to use for our talk at the church.
Now, friends, if you’re looking to connect with your little ones or just looking for a way to make some money as a designer, fabric markers might be the answer.
As Jacky’s friend illustrated, there are numerous fabric markers out there, and not all are capable of offering good value.
We haven’t been using fabric markers for a long time, but we’re a research firm, and we’d like to believe the digging we’ve done is rigorous enough and the information we’ve gathered can help you.
In just a few minutes, we’ll walk you through some of the highest-quality, affordable fabric markers on the market.
Need a quick decision? Here's my Top 5 Fabric Markers picks:
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
4 out of 5
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
Things to Consider Before Buying Fabric Markers
There are many different fabric marker brands on the market. They come in packs containing a different number of markers and colors. Some have dual tips, and some don’t. These are just some of the variations in fabric marking pens.
The most critical part is that not all brands offer good value in terms of color vibrance and durability.
If you want to find the best fabric pens; markers that are truly valuable, look for these features:
It’s frustrating to see your designs fade after washing the garment several times. That’s the reason why it’s good to look for markers that have high-quality ink that will last a long time even after the garment is washed many times.
A good fabric marker is one whose ink bleeds minimally. Bleeding means that when you’re using markers of different colors, these colors seep into each other, creating a mess.
It can be quite a frustrating scenario.
Look for a fabric marker that is labelled “no-bleed” or at least “minimal bleed”.
Whether you want to design fabrics for sale or you want to use them yourself or have your child(ren) use them, safety is one thing you cannot compromise on.
It goes without saying that the ink used shouldn’t contain any chemicals that will cause someone’s skin to itch or react in some undesirable manner when they come into contact with it.
It might be a little difficult to check whether the marker you want to buy satisfies these requirements and that’s where reviews come in.
By observing what others say, you can have a good picture of the value that a product offers. We’re now going to present to you the finest fabric markers we’ve come across or discovered through meticulous research.
Our Top 12 Best Fabric Markers Reviews
1. Crafts 4 ALL Fabric Markers
Don’t miss a chance to express your creativity with this popular pack of some of the best permanent fabric markers.
First and foremost, the ink used here is high-grade. It is deep and rich fade-resistant pigment ink with an incredible ability to retain color, and thus your designs will look brilliant for a long time.
Due to the high-grade pigment used, the designs you create are weatherproof, and even with washing, they retain the original exquisiteness.
The Crafts 4 ALL Fabric Markers are all about supporting design skills. That is why there are two different tips – a thin one and a broad one. With these, you can make sketches, underlines, outlines, and even do some shading.
You get 12 different colors – red, orange, blue, yellow, green, gray, purple, pink, black, and more.
The color versatility combined with the dual tips give you the freedom you need to create different styles and patterns; they give you the power to stand out from the crowd as much as you design skills allow.
You might be wondering whether the ink used here is going to affect you or your kids. Well, tell you what? The ink is non-toxic, and it’s rated child safe.
You have absolutely nothing to worry about.
These are some of the markers we bought for our project, and we can tell you from experience that they’re amazing. As you’ll see when you follow our link, they have splendid reviews from numerous happy customers.
2. Creative Joy Fabric Markers
Whether you’re throwing a baby shower or just looking for something that will help you create the perfect personalized designs for your customers, the Creative Joy Fabric Markers will be very useful.
The set comes with 12 of the most popular design colors, including red, mint green, violet, warm gray, sky blue, and black.
The beautiful part is that the inks are of high-quality and will set easily and remain on your fabric even after washing with cold water.
Something else we found cool about these markers is that they can be used on different fabrics, including 100% cotton, polyester, and cotton-poly blends without any problems.
As the pens have a dual tip, they allow you to make drawings of different kinds and let you use your design skills optimally.
When it comes to quality and safety, Creative Joy is one of the top brands.
Its fabric markers meet both the EN 71-3 as well as the ASTM standards, thereby proving they don’t contain chemicals that would harm people or the environment.
There is something unique to this brand and only a few other brands, and we believe you’ll like it – if you’re not completely satisfied with the markers, you can return them for a full refund.
Well, why do you think the seller offers such a deal? Because they’re confident about the quality of what they’re offering, and that’s a good sign.
3. Non-Toxic Perfect Fabric Markers for Writing on Clothes, Clothing, Jeans, Pants, and Shirts
Up to this point, we’ve only talked about 12-color markers. How would you like to get double that?
Yup, the Best Fabric Markers come with 24 unique individual colors to give you total liberty to create the sort of designs you want.
With so many colors, there’s no limit to the kinds of artwork you can come up with.
Some of the colors in the package are black, orange, yellow, purple, and even fancy colors like neon!
Apart from the wide array of colors, we also loved the quality of the ink. First, the ink dries pretty quickly when applied, so you don’t have to wait all day. And you don’t even need an iron to set the designs. All you need is good ventilation.
Once set, the ink is permanent, and you can even wash the fabric in the washing machine without worrying that the designs will fade.
The ones we saw didn’t come with a double tip, but they feature bullet tips, which makes it pretty easy to draw the designs the way you want. Whether you want to draw thick or thin lines or to do some coloring or smooth writing, the bullet tips are extremely helpful.
The people we talked to who have used these markers say they haven’t experienced itching or skin irritation or any other health issue, so it’s safe to trust that the ink is non-toxic.
You can use the markers to design your babies’ clothes with peace of mind that the ink won’t harm them.
4. Crafts 4 ALL 24-Color Fabric Marker Pens
This set might be a little more expensive than the one from Best (above), but it’s certainly of better with regards to quality.
The pens feature a truly professional-grade design that makes it so easy to use them. They are smooth but at the same time so easy to grip and work.
Their appearance is also elegant; something you’ll be proud to show to your family and friends. If you have an office and you’re looking for an elegant set of fabric marker pens to place on your desk, then this is it.
But the quality is not what we’re really interested in, is it? Well, let’s talk about the colors. We already mentioned that the number of colors you get with this one is 24.
With so many colors, we don’t think there’s a design you can picture in the mind that you cannot come up with.
In there, you will get a dazzling array of earth, fluorescent and rainbow colors. There are different shades of just about all the colors you’d need to come up with your designs.
The ink used here is not just any ink; it the German fabric dye, and you know what that means? It means color retention, uniqueness, and durability of the designs you’re going to create.
This version of the Crafts 4 All fabric pens doesn’t come with dual tips, but it offers you something equally good – the bullet tip. With this, you can outline, sketch, draw thin and thick lines, and do all sorts of design projects.
5. Super Markers 20-Color Markers
Of course, they’re great for t-shirts and other garments as well, but when it comes to shoes and handbags, they are sort of superior.
The set includes 20 common colors such as red, black, purple, and more, and what is most exciting about the markers is that the colors are highly vivid. Because the dye is also high-quality, the markers help you create designs that are not just vibrant but also long lasting.
The rich pigment in the ink is fade resistant, and it will remain strong even after the garment has been washed many times.
The tip fitted to this pen is point and bullet-like. By keeping the pen straight, you’ll be able to make fine fines and create smooth writings, and by slanting it, you’ll be able to make bold lines and do coloring with ease.
The ink dries up quickly, though the people that have used these markers recommend waiting for 24 hours before using the shoes or fabrics that have been decorated using these pens.
The current price of the pack is around seven bucks. Considering that the markers we’ve seen whose quality is this good go for an average of 10 to 12 bucks, we’d say the US Art Supply is presenting a pretty fine deal here.
It might not seem like a huge difference, but if you want to buy in bulk, the difference will be significant and definitely worth some consideration.
6. Colore Premium Fabric Markers
Fade resistance, color vibrance, affordability – these are just some of the benefits you get to enjoy when you purchase the Colore Premium Fabric Markers.
This product comes in a pack of 20, and each marker has a different color to help you create the richest designs you could think of.
From orange and red to green and blue, most of the main colors are included.
The ink’s quality is pretty fine, and you can count on the designs lasting. Moreover, the ink doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, so you needn’t worry about your skin of that of your kids getting irritated.
The dye is richly pigmented, and as such, the designs drawn are able to last a long time even with regular washing of the garment.
As the ink is also weatherproof, you don’t have to worry about the effects of the sun’s heat or the humidity on the beautiful designs you plan to draw on your (or your little ones’) clothes.
The only issue we found was that the tip of the pen isn’t designed for very thin lines. Sure you can do thin lines with in, but when we’re talking of extremely thin lines, the pen’s tip won’t be able to pull that off.
The Colore Premium Fabric Markers work on a wide assortment of surfaces, including shoes, jeans, purses and backpacks, and clothes. They also work on different fabrics including polyester and cotton and their blends.
7. Crayola Fabric Line Markers
If your budget is very tight, perhaps the incredibly low price of the Crayola Fabric Line Markers will interest you.
These markers go for around 5 bucks; however, you also have to factor in the fact that the pack contains only 10 markers. But, considering that there are some packs that contain 12 markers and are sold for over 10 bucks, we believe this deal from Crayola is really good.
Affordability is not the only reason why we think you should get these markers. Quality is one of the outstanding features this pack presents.
Each of the 10 colors has a different color, and so you’re given the power to successfully create a wide range of designs.
Apart from that, the pens have a pointed tip that enables you to draw thin lines. And when you draw with the pen bent, you’re able to create some bold lines. Hence, these markers offer you versatility so you can put your design skills to use.
When buying markers, there’s one question that you should ask – will the drawings appear on both light and dark fabrics? Because you see, we’ve seen people complain a lot after purchasing markers and then finding that the drawings don’t appear vividly on fabrics of different shades.
The good thing about the Crayola Fabric Line Markers is that the colors are vibrant.
Whether you’re drawing on light or dark fabrics, your designs are sure to show as long as the fabric and the ink are colored differently.
8. Crafts 4 ALL Permanent Marker Pens
Crafts 4 All is our most preferred fabric marker brand for several reasons including their dedication to quality, the amazing customer care, and the good, competitive prices they offer.
We are almost 100% sure that if you get your markers from this brand, you’ll have no regrets. Most of the folks who have bought their markers are happy returning customers.
So what makes these the best pens to write on fabric?
First is the deep, rich pigment that is used in making the dye. If you have used fabric markers before and experienced the annoying outcome of seeing the colors get washed away the moment you placed the garments in water, it’s about time you tried something better – the Crafts 4 ALL Permanent Marker Pens.
Because of the rich, high-grade pigment in the ink, the designs you draw will stay there even after washing the garment. You should, however, give the garment at least 12 hours to cure before using it.
This pack comes with 12 pens of different colors. These colors are vibrant and will show vividly when placed on the right fabrics.
What that means is that if light colors should be placed on dark fabrics and dark colors on light fabrics. The contrast is important.
The pens have dual tips. With the broad tips, you can do some shading and draw bold lines, and with the thin tips, you can draw outlines and do some fine-line writing.
9. Blackcat Sales Permanent Fabric Markers
So, you’ve just bought this fancy-looking pack of markers from a store in town, and you’re really excited about concealing some spots on your child’s white t-shirt that she will wear to school tomorrow.
You draw a bunch of little clouds and palm trees and add a few other decorative features and looking at it, you say, “Perfect!”. Then you iron the design and place the t-shirt where it will dry for the next four hours.
After four hours, you take the t-shirt and toss it in the washing machine but after removing it, the colors are bleeding into each other, and some parts are faded – what a mess!
Well, it’s a really frustrating situation that you don’t have to go through. Rather than going to a store across the street and getting whatever fabric markers you find there, get the Blackcat Sales Permanent Fabric Markers.
These are filled with an excellent-quality dye that is both bleed-resistant and fade-resistant.
Therefore, you can wash the fabric without worrying that the colors will bleed into each other or that they will leach out and leave the designs looking dull.
With this pack, you get 10 markers, and with them, you have the most common colors including red, green, blue, and more.
The ink that comes with these markers contains no harmful chemicals, and so you can be sure that you and you kids will be safe wearing garments that are designed with the markers.
10. Sharpie 1779005 Fabric Markers
If the Sharpie 1779005 Fabric Markers have one thing going for, it quick and easy setting that doesn’t require heat.
Most fabric markers out there need to you to iron the design or put the garment in the drier to set the design. The fact that you don’t need any of that with the Sharpie markers means you get to enjoy lots of convenience.
In case you’re looking to buy a fabric marker pack as a gift for someone, you certainly want to get them something presentable, don’t you? The Sharpie pens feature beautiful artwork, and we’re quite certain the recipient will be happy with the gift.
The pack is made of 8 pens of different colors. There is red, blue, purple, red, pink, orange, black, and yellow.
That might not seem like very many colors compared to the brands we’ve talked about above, but it’s still a wide array of colors and will help any designer come up with some really beautiful artwork.
Drawing on fabric, you cannot use the regular pen tip and expect your work to be very easy.
Fortunately, these markers have a brush tip, which enables you to draw smoothly without the tip catching on the fabric and ruining your drawings.
At first, it might feel awkward to use a brush tip, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll do it smoothly and without much effort. The pointed tip helps you create thin lines, and by slanting the pen, you can create some thick lines.
11. Crayola 588215 Classpack
For those of you who want to save some good cash buying in bulk, the Crayola 588215 Classpack should definitely be among your top considerations.
The box contains 80 markers, and there are 10 different colors in there. That means there are many markers in there of the same color and the whole point is to ensure you don’t have to keep going back to the shop.
The box currently goes for around 33 dollars. Let’s just think about that for a moment.
Picture a pack like the one from Sharpie that contains 8 pens and sells at around 10 dollars. To have 80 markers from that pack, you’d have to pay around 100 bucks (10x10). Even with a quantity discount, it’s sensible to claim that the price wouldn’t go down to 33, would it?
So, as you can see, this pack helps you save a good amount of money.
But you don’t want to purchase the markers just because the seller offers you a huge discount. We’d like you to know that there’s much more to the Crayola 588215 markers than just a good price.
These colors of these markers are some of the brightest in the market. The ink is high-grade, and hence when you wash the garment, the designs will be just the same.
The ink is a little wet, so you might want to give each color ample time to dry (perhaps 5 minutes) before applying a different color.
This might not seem very time efficient but in the end, the design is beautiful, and there’s no leaching out.
12. Colortime Crafts and Markers Economy Pack
Does your child have a school fabric decoration project? Or are you planning to teach them how to decorate fabric with permanent markers?
We’re going to show you why you should consider getting them the Colortime Crafts and Markers Economy Pack.
Firstly, the pack contains 6 markers colored differently to give your child the power to create colorful designs. Of course, 6 colors are not very many, but for someone who’s just starting out, they are okay.
These markers use high-quality ink that dries quickly, thus minimizing the chances of your young one messing up the project by touching the drawings.
A vast majority of fabric markers need the user to iron the design or throw the apparel in to drier to set the image. For obvious reasons, such markers aren’t suitable for kids.
The Colortime Crafts and Markers don’t need heat to set, and therefore, they make things very easy for your kids.
We bet you’re meticulous when it comes to the safety of your young ones’ health while using fabric markers. You’ll be glad to know that the Colortime markers aren’t made with any hazardous chemicals or materials; they’re absolutely safe for your kids.
Lastly but not exhaustively, these markers offer high cost efficiency. With them, you can decorate up to 15 shirts and what’s even more amazing is that the design is long lasting.
Different Types of Fabric Markers
There are several different types of fabric markers out there, and we want to help you find the right one. So, below, we’re going to give you a roundup of the main types to try and help you make the right selection.
Before we jump in, we want to point out that fabric markers can be categorized in two main ways – by the durability of the ink and by the style of the tip.
By the paint’s longevity
Under this, there are two main types:
- 1Permanent markers
- 2Non-permanent markers
1. Permanent Markers
Permanent pen markers contain ink in a reservoir within the pen. As the name denotes, the ink is permanent and once set and cured, the ink won’t come out even with washing.
If you’re planning to draw a permanent design on your fabric, a permanent marker is what you need. Using permanent markers to draw on oily or wet surfaces usually doesn’t work; you need a dry surface.
2. Non-permanent Markers
Like the permanent marker, the non-permanent marker has a reservoir that contains ink. The ink typically dries quickly when applied, but it can be removed with a damp cloth or water.
Non-permanent markers are good for drawing sew lines and drawing temporary designs on clothes.
Although these markers work well on almost any surface, they’re not to be used on wet surfaces.
By Tip Style
Under this, there are two types:
The tip is shaped like a bullet, and thus it makes it possible to write or draw thin lines. Pointed-tip markers can also create bold lines by bending, so they’re the most versatile.
If you need the optimal ease of use, look for a pointed-tip marker that is also a brush tip so you can move smoothly without the tip catching on fabric.
The tip is blunt/rounded as opposed to pointed. While these are great for creating bold lines, they’re not very useful when you want to draw a line.
Best Fabric Markers Brands on The Market
Buying by the brand is something many of us are used to. After all, across many industries, there’s always a selection of suppliers that are trusted to provide the best quality, and buying from them helps customers avoid poor quality.
With that in mind, we’re going to tell you about the top 5 fabric marker brands on the market.
Colortime Crafts and Markers
Colortime’s humble beginnings date back to the 1990s, when they had a warehouse that served as a meeting spot for crafters. Back then, they developed wearable artwork for kids, scouts, birthday parties, and more, and their customers grew a fondness for the products.
By now, millions of people have enjoyed Colortime Crafts and Markers' wide range of products, one of which is a colorful assortment of fabric markers.
This brand mainly sells its products online via their website as well as the major retail sites.
Sharpie’s history goes way back to the 19th century, denoting it is the oldest firm that sells fabric markers.
Originally, the company, which produced and sold glue and ink, was founded in Massachusetts as the Sanford Manufacturing Company by two men named William Sanford and Frederick Redington.
As you’d expect, the firm went through changes as time passed, including changes in the name, and today, it is known as Sharpie. Today, the original vision of the founders to help designers by providing them with high-quality materials remains.
Having started operations in 1885, Crayola is, without a doubt, one of the few pioneers in the fabric markers industry.
At first, the company produced carbon black and red oxide pigment before releasing the Crayola crayons in the 1900s.
Can you believe the first box, which contained 8 crayons, went for just five cents?
Anyway, the Pennsylvania-based company has expanded profoundly, and it serves design enthusiasts all over the world.
Crafts 4 ALL
Crafts 4 All operates as an internet-based brand that manufactures high-quality art supplies such as ink and fabric markers and sells them to customers.
From what we’ve seen, the brand is trusted by many folks, and it has really good reviews on the products it sells via various internet sites.
To be honest, we don’t know where their manufacturing plant is located, and their customer care hasn’t proved to be very helpful in providing that info, but the people we’ve talked to who use their fabric paint say their quality is great.
Calore is based in the UK and the US. This brand, which specializes in art supplies, is known for this one thing – providing high-grade design supplies at affordable prices. The brand has a huge stock which enables them to keep their production costs low and keep the selling prices at affordable levels.
Calore, like most brands in the art supplies industry, mostly sells its products online through its store as well as on Amazon and other retail sites.
We found out that most of the brand’s customers are quite happy with the products, and we believe you’ll be happy too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a fabric marker?
A fabric marker is a kind of pen that is designed for drawing on fabrics like cotton, polyester, and leather. They contain ink in a reservoir, and the ink might be permanent or non-permanent. These inks come in different colors, and each marker has one color.
A fabric marker pack typically contains many markers of different colors.
Can a fabric marker wash out?
That depends on whether the ink is permanent or non-permanent. Permanent ink can only be washed out while wet, but when it dries and cures, it cannot be washed out with water. Non-permanent ink, on the other hand, can be washed out with water or wiped away with a damp cloth.
How can I make the fabric marker drawing last?
When you’re done creating the design, wait for it to dry then cover it with a thin cloth and iron it for around 5 minutes. If you can’t use an iron, place the apparel in the drier set to low to medium heat for 30 minutes.
Avoid washing the fabric for at least 24 hours and when you do, use cold water for the first 3 times.
Is fabric marker harmful to health?
We’ve heard a few people complain about skin irritation wearing garments that have been drawn on with fabric markers. This shouldn’t scare you as long as you look for a brand that’s been tested and labelled non-toxic or child-safe.
How can I remove permanent fabric marker?
Water will not remove high-quality permanent fabric. Try this – pour hot water on the part of the garment with the image. Then, wet a sponge with some rubbing alcohol and use the wet sponge to rub the image.
Apply pressure with your hand while rubbing the image and keep rubbing and wetting the sponge when it starts getting dry.
What are the benefits of using permanent fabric marker?
Fabric markers offer you a quick and cheap way of decorating fabrics such as pillowcases, your kids’ tee shirts and bags, your handbags, shoes, and so on. Sure there are other ways, such as printing, but these are a lot less convenient considering the cost and time.
With our recommendations of the best fabric markers and the buying guide to help you along, getting the fabric marker that suits you shouldn’t be a difficult task. Don’t forget to check the number of markers in the pack and the colors present.
We wish you all the best as you put your design prowess to use with your preferred fabric marker. If you found this post informative, go ahead and tell your friends about it. Thanks in advance.