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Looking for the perfect marking tool

Elaray | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m endlessly searching for the perfect marking tool. My perfect marking tool would make marks that come out easily; either with water or gentle brushing. I don’t always want to wait 24 – 48 hours for the marks to disappear on their own. Sometimes I want to press and keep sewing, and I know pressing makes some marks permanent. Most the the marking I do is to mark buttonhole placement. I hate to have permanent marks down the center front of a garment. (Ugh!) Can anyone recommend a marking tool that will suit my needs?


I sew, therefore I am


  1. Bethann | | #1

    You can use wax based chalk that is sold at sewing dealers.  It is waxy to the feel and irons out with a steam iron. 

  2. woggy | | #2

    How about using a sliver of hand soap.  I was given this tip over 20 years ago and I use soap that is very thin (just the ones that I use to wash my hands). Works fine for me - sprinkle with water and it disappears when you iron it.

    1. offerocker | | #3

      Thanks for the reminder!  But I have you beat - over  30  years ago, when I took classes for my Bernina from factory rep.  I'll use the chalk-o-liner on very light-colored fabrics.  But I'll admit that I haven't tried colored soap. 

  3. Julie B | | #4

    My favorite is PMC Disappearing Chalk. Here's a link to a supplier:
    http://www.sewtrue.com/Chalk.html#CHALK (the one in the yellow box). This stuff is great. It only comes in white but I even use it to mark white fabrics as you can see it pretty well. It disappears in a couple of days or you can hit it with a shot of steam and it will disappear immediately. It's great stuff.

    A friend just finished a blouse on which she marked her buttonholes with the wax style of chalk which is supposed to come out with steam but she cannot get it out with either steam or with washing. She now has bright yellow marks down the front of the blouse.

    Julie B
    No Va

  4. FitnessNut | | #5

    The wax-based "chalk" doesn't always steam out - on silks and some synthetics it will leave a mark. Test before using. Personally, I have found that a soap sliver (pure soap or Ivory) works for most applications and steams out. Again, it is wise to test on a scrap of your garment fabric.

  5. Marionc032 | | #6

    I use those purple fading markers that fade in 24 - 48 hours, but if you are impatient, you can get rid of the marks instantly with a damp sponge. I am always leery of using chalk markers especially on light fabrics--at times its been very difficult to remove the chalk especially on light fabrics.


  6. Marormond | | #7

    I love the chalk o liner.  I have white and blue.  Also use the purple pens, blue pens and tailors chalk, not the waxy one.  And soap slivers and sometimes even use tailors tacks.  If I am not sure I alwys test on a bit of scrap fabric or on the edge of the fabric before I wash it prior to cutting. 

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