Working with fabric paints is fun, but using fabric markers is easy. For a simple way to personalize clothes or crafts, look no further. Sometimes old clothes need a little tweaking to bring them back to life, or if the colors have bled in the wash, fabric markers become even more useful.
Still, this very much depends on how good the product is, and any low-quality fabric markers should be avoided. This is why we have created the following list of the best fabric markers available. There is more to these products than color variety although that is important. What you will find is that there is something for every budget, and reliable markers to be put to a variety of uses.
- Editor’s Choice
Best Fabric Markers (PACK OF 24 PENS) Non-Toxic – Set of 24 Individual Colors (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
Super Markers 20 Unique Colors Dual Tip Fabric & T-Shirt Markers (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Kids
Tulip Dual Tip Fabric Markers 14 Pack – Fine Tip & Brush Tip (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
Fabric Markers Pens Permanent 24 Colors Fabric Paint Art Markers (Amazon) – Review
- Best With Light And Dark Fabrics
TULIP Fabric Paint Markers Rainbow 15 Pack (Amazon) – Review
- Best With Stencils
Mosaiz Store – 26 Fabric Markers Pen Set with Gold and Silver (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Best Fabric Markers (PACK OF 24 PENS) Non-Toxic – Set of 24 Individual Colors
These are the best fabric markers available, and not just because they are fine to use on denim, although that helps. With 24 in a pack, there are plenty of crafting possibilities and the different shades and rainbow colors offer a good mix. The bullet tips are easy to move along a fabric without any snagging and are useful for creating both fine lines and thick.
They work well on a variety of textures including cotton and polyester as well as some of the usual fabrics. Because they are non-toxic, they are fine for the whole family to use and even come with a money-back guarantee. They are much better when it comes to using them on light fabrics so it is best to stick with them to bring out new ideas and put them into practice.
- Great value
- Bullet tips
- Can be used on denim among others
- Wash well
- Money-back guarantee
Best Value: Super Markers 20 Unique Colors Dual Tip Fabric & T-Shirt Markers
These double-ended fabric markers have a bullet and chisel tip to make it easy to fill large areas faster, as well as create intricate lines. The rich pigment in the dye ensures that the colors stay bold, even after multiple washes and when dry, they are permanent. Both non-toxic and fade-proof, these are a great choice for kids and have child-safe caps.
We like that they can be used on a wide variety of fabrics that go well beyond the usual T-shirt designs, but also shoes, bags, placemats, baby garments, and more. After finishing a design, it is best to air dry for 24 hours before wearing, this is also the point where the garment can be washed for the first time. They also come with a 100% lifetime guarantee, but going by the numerous satisfied customer reviews, it is unlikely that this will be needed.
- Fade proof
- Dual tips
- Can be used on a variety of fabrics
- 20 markers in a pack
- Not as good on dark materials
Best For Kids: Tulip Dual Tip Fabric Markers 14 Pack – Fine Tip & Brush Tip
With 14 in a pack, there are plenty of colors t work with and each one includes a brush tip and a fine tip to make it easier to create intricate designs then fill them in. Because they are nontoxic they are ideal for kids and dry quickly so there is less risk of smudging. Because the colors wash well, they stay vibrant after multiple washes but are best on light-colored fabrics, especially whites.
We like that they do not require any heat set treatment, and when they are dry, they are good to be worn with fade-resistant ink ensuring they look their best for a long time. The tips run over the fabric smoothly without snagging and the consensus from customers is that they are good value for the balance of quality and price.
- 14 colors included
- Dry quickly
- Brush tip and fine tip
- Not so good on darker fabrics
Best Affordable: Fabric Markers Pens Permanent 24 Colors Fabric Paint Art Markers
With a massive 24 fabric markers in a pack, this is among the best value available, especially considering the quality of the colors after multiple washes. The color types range from the rainbow to fluorescent shades, using high-quality German fabric dye ink. This ensures a high standard of pigment retention and with a bullet tip, they are great for fine lines and filling in.
The uses are plentiful which is what makes them so popular, and they are often put to work on wall art, canvas art, garments, shoes, baby garments, and more. Not only are the fade-proof, but these markers are nontoxic and wash proof and are used by artists and amateurs alike.
- 24 markers included
- Uses high-quality German fabric dye ink
- Variety of uses
- Some people like a finer tip
Best With Light And Dark Fabrics: TULIP Fabric Paint Markers Rainbow 15 Pack
The vibrancy of these rainbow colors makes them stand out, and with 15 in a pack, there are plenty of options to bring an idea to life. They are best washed in a colder setting but dry permanent and are resistant to fading. This means that even after multiple washes, the vibrancy will remain.
With an opaque, bold color they are fine to use on dark fabrics although to bring out the best of each color it is best to give the marker a shake before using. The bullet tips are easy to work with for most people and there are both matte and metallic finishes in every pack. They work well on multiple types of fabric although a lot of people favor bringing a silk scarf to life.
- 15 markers in a pack
- Opaque color
- Fine for light and dark fabrics
- Washes well
- Some colors run out a little faster than other brands
Best With Stencils : Mosaiz Store – 26 Fabric Markers Pen Set with Gold and Silver
The gold and silver colors are a neat addition that not a lot of fabric markers include, as are the 36 included stencils. Among these 1 x 1 inch designs are letters and numbers to help create consistent designs and neat personalization. With 26 markers included, there are plenty of options and each one is fade-resistant, but also fast drying without bleeding or spoiling a neat design.
The bullet tips make for a comfortable experience when using them and the ink is non-toxic and stays bright on numerous fabrics including jeans, shoes, baseball caps, and more.
- Comes with 36 stencils
- 26 different colors
- Can be used on a variety of fabrics
- Some colors last longer than others
More than just an easy way to keep the kids entertained, fabric markers can bring an old garment to life, or personalize shoes, bags, and other items far easier than using paints. With better control, and different types of tips available, not to mention the color options, the possibilities are endless.
This is only when using a quality product as low-quality brands tend to fade or do not sow so well from the offset. To help you make a sensible decision, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
To make the most out of the space on a marker, some brands choose to offer dual tips. These can be particularly useful for filling in large areas of design as they tend to result in a thicker end than usual, as well as the usual bullet tip or fine point. It may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s a neat addition.
Unlike a lot of brands making fabric paints, expect a lot of variety from your fabric markers. Most brands include a minimum of 10 – 15 markers, with 20 and above being common as well. Because they can not be blended like paints, it is important to get a good number of markers so you are not left wanting.
Although a lot of adults make great use of fabric markers, they are popular with children too. This is where safety is paramount, and it all starts with a non-toxic formula. Because they are often used to create designs on baby clothes, it is always best to check that the brand you are considering uses nontoxic ink.
Any permanent fabric marker is going to need to be washable, but some are better than others. Look for a brand that has a reputation for having colors that are fade-resistant, and bold from the moment they are applied, as well as after multiple washes.
Most fabric markers will dry fast to touch, this is a good thing as it means they are less susceptible to smudging. however, they should also dry within a day so they can be worn. The same goes for being washable as some markers take longer before they are ready to be washed than others.
A lot of brands will advertise their markers as being ideal for t-shirt designs but this should just be the tip of the iceberg. With so many products being capable of creating designs on the likes of denim, bags, shoes, pillowcases, linen, and a lot more.
Accuracy is key when it comes to creating designs on fabric, which is why markers that bleed will become troublesome fast. The best fabric markers are those that are known for not bleeding as they are worked over the fabric. This will leave a true design and the colors won’t mix into one another, potentially ruining the masterpiece.
When it comes to creating designs on garments, they are among the best options available. Not only is a marker pen easier. to control, but they go onto a wide variety of fabrics and materials which is part of what makes them so popular. It is easier to move a marker along a sneaker than a paintbrush and they leave a consistent line.
Of course, some brands are better than others but with a little prior knowledge, it is easy to purchase a product that gives reliable results.
There is no prepping required for most markers although it can be a good idea to wash a t-shirt before using them as it can help to avoid shrinkage after the design has been created. A fabric marker works in the same way as a regular craft pen, and the ink flows with the pattern or design.
Some products may. require heat treatment to help the ink set and this is easy to do. Every product is different, but most heat treatments involve holding a steam iron half an inch above the ink.
This depends on the product, but most will dry within 24 hours. Some take a little longer and this also doesn’t necessarily mean it can be washed at this point. Check the instructions to be sure.
Less messy than fabric paints and just as fun, a fabric marker is an excellent activity for a child. Not only can they enjoy their designs after, but there is barely any cleanup and most products are nontoxic and fine for all members of the family to use. Most products tend to advise of the minimum age required to use their markers, with 3 and above being a common age.
For most people, the main benefit of using fabric markers is that they are permanent, but not every product is. Some are designed to be washable with the design coming off after a cycle. This is why it is always best to check before purchasing, but most fabric markers are the permanent kind.
Most brands will advise that their markers are not going to bleed upon application, but to stop them from bleeding in the wash, be sure to wait the appropriate time before the first cycle. Another way of helping them to avoid bleeding is through heat treatment, even if the brand does not advise using this method.
However, most quality brands only need to be air-dried for the designated time.
To create a unique gift or personalized garment for a little one, fabric markers are ideal. Not only are they fine to use on a variety of surfaces, so bibs, blankets, baby grows, and more, but they are usually non-toxic and safe to use.
Fabric markers are also fun to use at a baby shower where guests can use them to create fun designs for the expecting mother to keep, ready for when baby arrives!