Whether needed for tailoring, tracing a sewing pattern, or measuring placement guides, there are a range of specialty products that can be used to temporarily mark fabric. With different densities and colors to choose from, the best tool will depend on the type of fabric being marked and the strength of line needed. While all these implements are intended for impermanent marks, some may require water, soap, or heat to remove them from fabric, so it is always a good idea to do a spot test before using. Our selections below will help you find the best product for your project.
1. Ogrmar Professional Tailors Chalk Triangle
This 10-piece set of tailor’s chalk comes in four colors—yellow, white, red, and blue—so you can choose the shade that most contrasts with your fabric and make highly visible markings. The chalk’s triangular shape and thin design make it easy to hold and guarantee a sharp edge for precise lines. The compacted chalk works well on woven fabrics and is best for creating quick, temporary marks since its powdery lines may rub off material that is heavily handled.
2. Clover Chacopel Fine Pencils
Great for stencils and patterns, these Chacopel pencils, made out of clay and wax, provide thin, precise lines. The three-pencil set includes a yellow, white, and double-ended pink/ blue pencil, plus a sharpener. Two of the pencils have a sturdy brush end to erase markings, which can also be removed with neutral laundry detergent. One note: Markings need to be removed prior to ironing or they may stain fabric.
3. Bohin Extra-Fine Chalk Pencil
This is a mechanical pencil that comes with six white-chalk leads. Ideal for quilting, patchwork, and stenciling, the 0.9-millimeter lead produces an extra-fine line that is great for tracing details, though it may be difficult to use on thick and highly textured fabrics. The chalk lines can be removed with water.
4. Dritz Mark-B-Gone Marking Pen
This fine-tip blue marker creates crisply defined lines, perfect for quilting, embroidery, appliqué, and other detailed sewing projects. Best for use on lighter fabrics, the pen should be spot-tested first since it may bleed on delicate materials. Marker lines can be gently removed with a damp cloth and should not be ironed.
5. Cottage Mills Soapstone Fabric Marker
In this set you get an adjustable aluminum holder with textured finger grips, a soapstone stick, and one refill stick. A naturally soft and delicate material, soapstone can be sharpened to a fine point for creating precise lines. Suitable for all fabric types, it produces a white mark that is most visible on darker materials; it can be easily rubbed off or removed with water.