Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: May 09, 2021
Fabric coloring and decorating are considered as a great hobby in many different regions of the world. Fabric markers are fantastic tools that allow you to create beautiful and intricate designs on your garments. They’re easy and fun to use for both you and your kids!
Selecting the best fabric markers that suit your needs can be a time-consuming task, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. With our team of experts, we have compared 41 fabric marker sets available the market, and the Crafts 4 ALL 12 Dual Tip Fabric Markers appeared to be our favorite option. Their highest quality, bright colors, and positive customer feedback make them the perfect choice for almost everyone. If you want to check something else, we’ve included 9 other fabric marker sets in this article.
We’ve considered some important features we believe you should go through to make a well-informed decision. As such, fabric markers come in a variety of tip types that indicate whether the pen is suitable for your design or not. Other essential features are the number of pieces the set contains, resistance to fading, how these markers work on various fabric types, and more. We scoured various online sources for hours to find the best fabric markers. They’re listed in a table with an assigned score and nomination, so you see the entire summary at a glance. Later, each product is reviewed in-depth, and you can find a buying guide showing what to look for when shopping for the best fabric markers.
Top 10 Fabric Markers Review 2021
Crafts 4 ALL 12 Dual Tip Fabric Markers – Editor's Choice
Tip-type: fine tip + broad tip
Recommended for: wall art, clothing, handbags, placemats, canvas, sneakers, bibs, baby gear and more
More features: non-toxic, fast-drying, weather-resistant, washable, perfect for various styles
The Crafts 4 ALL 12 Dual Tip Fabric Markers are dubbed the Editor’s Choice because of the manufacturer’s dedication to the highest quality, great customer satisfaction, and an affordable price tag. They’re the best choice for your kids because they’re non-toxic and child-safe.
If you’re annoyed by the fact that the colors of most fabric markers get washed away as soon as you put them in the water, it’s about time you start using these amazing fabric markers! They also stand out from the crowd because of their unique dual tip feature. This great combo allows you to draw both bold lines and do some fine styling.
Although the markers are highly-pigmented and come in 12 vibrant colors, they don’t work very effectively with certain kinds of fabrics and rather end up stippling. But when used on the right fabrics, the rich color of the markers outshines their counterparts.
What do we love it for?
Highly pigmented with rich colors
Doesn’t wash away
What were we disappointed with?
Won’t work smoothly on all fabric types
Aen Art 30 Colors Fabric Markers – Best Value
Tip type: bullet
Recommended for: multiple surfaces
More features: acid-free, non-toxic, permanent German ink, fade-resistant, child-safe, weather-proof, washable
If you’re an artist, a business owner, or a hobbyist looking out for more color choices, then your best pick could be the Aen Art 30 Colors Fabric Markers. The pack consists of 30 different unique tones, including all the colors from the rainbow! You pretty much don’t need to own anything else if you have these markers.
The best thing about these is that they layer well with other colors and don’t bleed. Next, they finely overlap the previous color without ruining the shade. The permanent German ink doesn’t wash away easily, and the colors remain vibrant even after several washes. Also, the ink consistency is on point, i.e,. it’s not so thick that it gets difficult to shade evenly, neither too thin that it smudges or spreads out. They’re the best fabric markers for shoes because the nib glides easily on the surface and doesn’t go all over the place. However, they do take a bit longer than usual to dry out when applied to the fabric.
What makes it stand out?
Great ink consistency
Layers well with other colors
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Takes longer to dry out when applied on a fabric
BEST Fabric Markers - Pack of 24 Pens – Best for Denim
Tip type: bullet
Recommended for: all types of clothing and fabric, including denim, T-shirts, cotton, polyester
More features: non-toxic, safe for kids, washable, bright colors and shades
This set of markers from BEST is nearly impossible to beat when it comes to creating intricate designs on fabrics across the spectrum, especially denim, cotton, and polyester. The BEST fabric markers come in a pack of 24 vibrant colors and are an ideal choice for thicker fabrics used in shoes or bags.
The pack consists of all the rainbow colors along with the basic shades, making it an ideal choice for all your coloring needs. The ink formula is safe, and because of its non-toxic composition, you can let your children play with them and enjoy their arts and crafts activities without fear of getting harmed in any way.
The long-lasting ink of these markers makes them the best pens to write on fabric. The pack contains the right variety of shades, and it’s very easy to get the right amount of vividness, which also makes them one of the best fabric markers for T-shirts you can find. However, the caps don’t fit on the other end, which means you’re prone to losing caps or getting them mixed with others.
Why did it make our list?
Best for thicker fabrics
Works well on multiple surfaces
Wide variety of colors
What is not ideal about it?
Caps don’t t fit on other end
Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers – Best for Convenience
Tip type: brush
Recommended for: most types of fabric
Bright, bold colors
More features: washable, great for both thick and thin lines
If you’re looking for fabric markers that not require you to iron and wash the clothes for setting, then Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers could be an ideal time-saving choice for you. These markers are one of a kind when it comes to quick and easy setting that doesn’t require heat, which makes them very convenient to use.
The pack comes with 8 bright colors, which may seem less as compared to many other brands, but those bold colors help the designer come up with beautiful and intricate designs very easily. If you’re looking to buy a fabric marker pack as a gift for someone, then this set of Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers is also a convenient choice!
The brush tip is a bit tricky to use, but once you get the hang of it, you will have more control, being able to use it smoothly without much effort. However, you need to be very attentive when working on thinner fabrics because they may end up bleeding.
What are its best features?
Doesn’t require heat for setting
Brush tip for ease of use and control
Perfect as a gift
What could be improved?
Doesn’t work well on thinner fabrics
Tulip Dual Tip Fabric Markers 14 Pack – Best for Light-Colored Fabrics
Tip type: fine tip + brush tip
Recommended for: white and light-colored fabrics
No heat setting required
More features: dual-sided, fine tip works well for stippling effect, non-toxic, washable
This set of Tulip Dual Tip Fabric Markers consists of 14 pieces. The soft color tones of these markers will surely leave you awe-struck when you apply them to white or light-colored fabrics.
The markers have both fine and brush tips, so you can taste the versatility by creating complex and detailed designs. If you’re looking forward to creating something that requires a lot of detailing, then these markers come in very handy because they allow you to make both fine and bold lines. You wouldn’t have to face many difficulties in doing fine touches. Also, the fade-resistant feature helps in maintaining the quality of the color even after several washes.
However, the markers lose their vibrancy once they’re applied on darker colored fabrics. These markers don’t require heat for setting, but it’s recommended to give your items 24 hours before washing. These permanent fabric pens are completely non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry when your precious kids are creative!
Why are we impressed?
Doesn’t require heat for setting
Fade-resistant and non-toxic
Dual tip design
Great for patterns with a lot of details
What negatives must you be aware of?
Doesn’t work well with darker fabrics
Super Markers 20 Colors – Best for T-Shirts
Tip type: bullet
Recommended for: T-shirts and all fabrics
More features: water-based, acid-free, kid-safe, non-toxic
Super Markers exhibit the finest results when it comes to designing T-shirts, along with other garments with maximum ease. Of course, they’re equally good for designing shoes and bags as well, but when it comes to T-shirts, there’s no better way to do it than this!
The tips fitted to markers are of the bullet type, which helps in creating both bold and fine lines, making them quite versatile. Coloring is also performed with ease. They’re water-based, which makes them completely non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry even if it falls on your skin. This pack of Super Markers consists of 20 different colors that can easily be used on all types of fabrics, including thicker ones.
All this makes them great value for money, not to forget they can be used by your kids! On the downside, caps colors don’t match the shade of the color you choose. However, once you leave it for 24 hours, the rich pigmentation of colors allow them to resist fading even after several washes in a washer-dryer.
Why are we impressed?
Designs won’t fade even after several washes
Ideal choice for T-shirts
What negatives must you be aware of?
Colors of the caps could be more accurate
Crayola Fabric Fine Line Markers – Best for Kids
Tip type: fine
Recommended for: cotton and polyester fabrics
Work on dark and light fabrics
More features: safe for kids, non-toxic, great for various styles
If you’re looking for budget-friendly, fine quality fabric markers that work especially well on cotton, then no fabric pens might match the Crayola Fabric Fine Line Markers. It’s one of the best fabric marker sets for cotton you’ll find, so it should be your preferred choice if that’s the type of fabric you’ll mostly be working on.
The pack consists of 10 bright color markers with a flexible kind of fine tip that helps in shading small areas. If you’re looking for multiple color choices, though, this pack might not be the right option for you. Still, it’s one of the best fabric markers for polyester, adding to its versatility. You can use these markers for simple DIY projects, which makes them an ideal choice for kids. They’re long-lasting, and the ink doesn’t dry easily in them.
They’re also extremely easy to use, and the kids can play around with them without fear of irritating their skin owing to their gentle composition. One drawback, though, is that the ink is not as vivid as other fabric markers. But applying the second layer does wonders.
Why are we impressed?
Best for kids because of ease of use and non-toxic composition
Excellent for polyester fabric
What negatives must you be aware of?
Comparatively less vivid
ARTEZA Fabric Markers – Best for Ease of Control
Tip type: ultra-fine tip + fine tip
Recommended for: jeans, T-shirts, sneakers, backpacks, jackets, and more
More features: non-toxic, vibrant colors, washable, permanent
ARTEZA Fabric Markers are widely known for their diversified and vibrant color range – from Yellow to Flamingo and Purple to Elephant Gray! These are permanent fabric markers that stay for a comparatively longer duration after they’re set. The ink consistency is exactly on point and is weather-proof and fade-resistant. It’ll also allow you to draw fluidly!
Each marker is equipped with two tips, i.e., one fine tip and one ultra-fine tip. The unique dual-tip feature of these permanent fabric markers helps in creating fine intricate designs. The ultra-fine tip provides the ability to create fascinating and complex designs on multiple garments that makes these markers stand out from much of its competition.
The permanent ink does not bleed through your materials, and neither comes off in a washing machine. Unfortunately, the markers dry out real fast because the ink cartridge is very small. However, they’re great value for money with a pack of 30 vibrant shades.
What makes it special?
Great variety of colors
Stays on fabric for a longer time
Marvelous option for complex designs
What cons did we find?
Dry out quickly
Colore Permanent Fabric Markers – Best Versatile Option
Tip type: fine
Recommended for: T-shirts, shoes, bags and various types of fabrics
Fade and weather-proof
More features: child-safe, non-toxic, permanent, richly pigmented, perfect for detailed drawings
Colore Permanent Fabric Markers could be the perfect present for art students or your artistic friends on those special occasions, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even an art school graduation because they offer great results for craft enthusiasts! They’ll bring your fabrics to life with the rich pigmented range of colors.
These fabric pens are great for beginners, teens, or adult artists, who love drawing and painting on blank canvas and fabrics of all shades. They also work well on handbags, purses, and blue denim. The dye is richly pigmented, which allows the design to stay for a longer duration, even with regular washing of the garments. If you let the garments dry out on hot days, that also won’t affect the vibrancy of the shades as well. This great set also comes with a money-back guarantee that shows how the manufacturer cares about the customers.
The only issue with these markers is that the tips cannot make very fine lines. You’ll still be able to create intricate designs, but it could get a bit tricky, requiring greater skill.
What stands out?
Weather-resistant and fade-proof
Richly pigmented colors
Perfect choice for all types of clothes
What cons did we manage to find?
The tip is not able to pull off extremely fine lines
Tulip Fabric Paint Markers Rainbow – Striking Color Range
More features: fade-resistant, washable, vibrant colors
These opaque markers from Tulip can handle all your dark and light-colored fabrics with ease. You can create beautiful, one-of-a-kind silk scarves with these bright color markers.
The pack consists of 15 vivid color markers along with a small range of metallic shades. These metallic shades, such as gold and silver, make them even more demanding, giving them a cut above the rest of the competition. Metallic colors are wonderful when you want to create a more striking look. They’ll also complement the look when creating designs on tough surfaces like wood, rocks, or canvas.
These markers are a budget-friendly option, but the downside is the ink running out relatively quicker, which can be somewhat bothersome. The ink of metallic markers dries out faster as compared to other color options.
What do we love it for?
Works well on darker fabrics
Metallic color range included
Can be used on other surfaces and materials
What were we disappointed with?
Ink runs out faster
Things to Consider
A fabric marker is a pen that is used for drawing on different kinds of fabrics like cotton, denim, or polyester. The pens contain ink in a housing, which can be of a permanent or non-permanent nature. They come in a variety of colors, with each marker having its unique shade. Usually, we’re loyal to certain brands because they become synonymous with trust and quality, so we picked the best of them for our top 10 list. We’re convinced that with our detailed reviews and this buying guide, getting the best fabric marker won’t be a difficult task anymore!
How to pick the best fabric markers?
There are many different types of fabric markers available on the market. They come in packs of different numbers. Some markers have dual-tips or brush tips, while others have ultra-fine tips for creating bold and intricate designs. The most critical part is to choose the set that offers good value and great color vibrancy. You should also check that your fabric markers are fade-proof so that the colors stay after washing. They shouldn’t bleed, or they might mess up your design. Lastly, they must be non-toxic so that you don’t worry about your children using them.
Pieces in the set
All of the fabric markers come in different forms of packaging with a varying number of pieces inside. Although the number of markers packs solely depend upon the brand, this is indeed an important indicator of the value they bring to the table (quite literally!). Some of the sets consist of a wide range of markers, such as seen with the Aen Art 30 Colors Fabric Markers, and that provides fantastic variety so that you can come up with any of your desired shades.
The sets that contain fewer markers offer a low range of colors, which is sometimes not enough if you wish to create deep-colored, or multi-colored designs.
You can find many different types of tips with fabric pens. Each tip serves a different purpose and is made to perform a specific task. The most widely available types of tips are the bullet-shaped tip, the ultra-fine or fine tip, brush tip, or a dual-tip. Bullet tips have a slightly thick rounded shape. They can be used to draw thick lines on to a surface. The BEST Fabric Markers – Pack of 24 Pens is a great example of these products with bullet tips. Ultra-fine or fine tips are used when precision is of utmost importance as they draw accurate lines. Dual-tip means there are two tips in the marker; one thick and one fine, which can come in very handy. Last but not least, you can come across the brush tip, such as with the Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers. With this type, you can easily control the width of your lines from thick to thin with the pressure of your hand.
What are these markers best for?
Each type of marker has its unique ability, which makes it stand out from the rest in a specific way. Some markers are best for use on fabrics, with some of them performing exceptionally well over darker-colored ones, like the Tulip Fabric Paint Markers Rainbow. Next, several of these products work on almost all surfaces and canvases. A few are specifically designed to work on white and lighter-colored fabrics like the Tulip Dual Tip Fabric Markers 14 Pack. The Aen Art 30 Colors Fabric Markers are created to perform well on many surfaces with high efficiency, and they show outstanding results when it comes to hard surfaces, such as those found in shoes or handbags.
The word ‘vivid’ describes a bold color. It’s also the intensity of how bright the color is in terms of its visual appearance. In markers, this term describes vibrant tints of colors that are very appealing to the eye and are so bright that they shine when applied to a surface. Some products, like the Crafts 4 ALL 12 Dual Tip Fabric Markers, perform well in this regard, producing very vivid colors over white and light fabrics, whereas for dark surfaces and fabrics, the Tulip Fabric Paint Markers Rainbow performs better.
Non-toxic formula is probably the first thing one should look for if the markers are being bought for kids or are bought to be used for longer periods of time.
Non-toxic markers are made of a special type of ink that is not harmful to the skin, and inhaling or ingesting it will be less dangerous.
In our opinion, the Tulip Dual Tip Fabric Markers 14 Pack and the BEST Fabric Markers – Pack of 24 are two of the best non-toxic marker sets available on the market.
Many different types of inks used in markers require different techniques of drying. Some inks require heat to dry, some require air, while most of them need the specific amount of time to dry on their own. A few of them are known as the ‘quick-drying’ type.
Quick-drying means that the ink will dry immediately as it’s applied on the surface all by itself, without requiring the clothes to be ironed.
So, if you want quick-drying markers, then we recommend you go for the BEST Fabric Markers – Pack of 24 Pens. However, if markers requiring heat isn’t much of a problem for you, then the Super Markers 20 Colors is another great option!
The price plays a big role in leading you to your final purchase. As per the products we’ve reviewed in this article, we have markers ranging from as low as $5, to some of them going up to $25 per set. It all depends on what type of markers you want and how long do you want your set of markers to last. The more expensive ones like the ARTEZA Fabric Markers offer a lot in terms of quality, color variety, ease of use, and longevity. However, if it isn’t feasible to spend that much, then the Crafts 4 ALL 12 Dual Tip Fabric Markers are also great. They’re non-toxic, fast-drying, washable, and perfect for applying to a variety of surfaces.
Generally, fabric marker ink can take up to a few days to dry out completely. First, test the surface to check whether it’s completely dried out or not. Now, to activate the pigment, a heat setting can be required with some of them. For this, plug in the iron and lay a cloth over the painted fabric to protect the iron and ironing board. You also have to make sure the iron is set according to the temperature recommendations for your fabric, then move the iron over the drawing evenly to heat it up for 10 to 15 seconds. After the temperature setting, wash the cloth with lukewarm water to remove any residue and let it dry. Prevent the painted fabric from dry cleaning as it might destroy the print. However, not all types require heat setting, so make sure to read the product description beforehand.
Instructions regarding usage and storage of fabric markers don’t differ much and can be found in the description leaflet of the product. You should not expose the markers to air for a long time. For this reason, close the cap quickly after usage to prevent the evaporation of the ink, which can cause markers to dry out. Also, always put the fabric markers vertically with the capped nib downside so that the ink is always at the nib, and they’re ready to go. Finally, it’s advisable to use the fabric markers on a fine quality cloth because the granular fabric can affect the nib of these markers.
Fabric inks are commonly permanent, and after heat setting, they won’t wash out easily. But the lifespan of your drawings also depends on the quality of the material and the fabric markers used. Washing techniques also play a vital role in the longevity of your drawings. Some of the markers have very light-colored ink, resulting in less vibrant shades, which usually end up fading away faster than usual.
Permanent fabric markers ink can be quite difficult to remove from clothes and skin, but they aren’t fully permanent in truth. There are methods available to remove permanent ink from fabric and skin, and there are a few different approaches you can try. One of them is solvents, which can be used to dissolve permanent ink stains. These solvents aren’t any complex chemicals, but are easily available in our homes, such as baking soda, hair spray, or a hand-sanitizer. After applying any solvent to the stain, make sure to put dry towels or tissues underneath the cloth; it will absorb the ink from the cloth.
Letting the ink dry out completely makes the fabric ink last longer. Most of the fabric markers are washable, but still, some precautions need to be followed. To wash the fabric, turn it inside out and do not spray the fabric with any fabric protector as it will lead the ink to run out quickly. Always wash the fabric with cold water using any gentle detergent because harsh chemicals can cause the ink to fade out. Try to wash the fabric by hand instead of a machine and let it air dry to increase the durability and life of the painted fabric.
To make things even simpler for you, we’ve shortlisted our top three picks.
The first pick is the Editor’s Choice – Crafts 4 ALL 12 Dual Tip Fabric Markers. With these dual-sided quality markers, you can write and draw on various types of surfaces. They’re known for excellent customer feedback and fantastic results after drying.
Next, we have Aen Art 30 Colors Fabric Markers. These acid-free, permanent fabric markers with German ink can be the best choice for an artist or a hobbyist. They do not bleed on any type of fabric and have an affordable price tag.
Lastly, the BEST Fabric Markers is a great choice for denim. You can also use them on thick fabrics, such as seen in shoes or bags.
We hope that this guide helped you find the best fabric markers for your project. So make your purchase now and start creating beautiful cloth styles!