The Best Water-Soluble Fabric Markers for Disappearing Ink

Water-soluble fabric markers are magical: Now you see it . . . and now you don’t! These markers are a fabulous way to trace patterns and transfer designs when quilting, sewing, and embroidering. The marker lines are there when you need them—while you’re working—but vanish from your completed project. Inks vary in colors and how long they last; some fade over time with air, but most require water in order to disappear. Some markers draw thick lines; others thin. The fabric often determines the type of marker or pen you should use. Chances are good one of these recommended pens will be the perfect water-soluble fabric marker for you.

1. Dritz Disappearing Ink Marking Pen

Dritz’s pen is ideal for those who work quickly and need thick lines. The felt tip makes a bold, vibrant purple mark that disappears relatively quickly, within 24 to 72 hours, making this pen great for fast repairs or sewing projects that can be completed within a day or two. The pen works well on both smooth and highly textured fabrics. The ink bleeds on some textiles, but you can dab with plain water whenever you need the lines to vanish. Don’t iron over marks or launder them with detergent, as that may set the ink. This pen is also available in pink.


2. Clover Chacopen

Chacopens are made with a beautiful blue chalk base, which easily glides onto a variety of fabrics. The lines disappear when exposed to air within 4 to 14 days. The convenient eraser on the top of the pen quickly erases lines too. The color does not bleed when applied, and it disappears without a trace. It may contain cobalt sulfate heptahydrate, so use this pen with care.


3. Andaa Disappearing Ink Fabric Marker Pen

This set is ideal for busy art centers and for students learning how to sew. There are 10 pens in five bright colors to choose from: select your favorite color or decide according to how quickly the ink disappears. Pink vanishes with air within 1 to 7 days; green and blue quickly disappear; purple vanishes with air in 2 to 14 days; and dark blue disappears only with water. All of the inks vanish with water. What’s more, with five colors, at least one color is certain to stand out against your fabric. The pens are nontoxic and safe for artists of all ages.


4. Wrights Water Soluble Marking Pen

Are you someone who starts projects that take years to complete? You’re a good candidate for this pen, which easily draws on fabric with a crisp, vibrant blue ink that stays put until you wipe it off with water. It doesn’t smudge, making it perfect for embroidery and hand-stitched projects, and the lines remain dark over time. Ironing and laundering with detergent may set the ink.


5. Sewline Air-Erasable Fabric Pen

Sewline’s pen is a dream to work with. It easily draws a fine fuchsia line onto fabric thanks to its tip, a 0.8-millimeter ceramic roller ball that creates ultra-crisp marks. Need precision? Draw precise lines with a ruler and clearly write notes on fabric. The roller tip protects fabric from rips and holes and allows ink to glide smoothly onto fabric, and the ink disappears in air in 1 to 10 days, or remove it by dabbing with plain water. Do not iron.


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