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tailors chalk

Ruth63 | Posted in Teach Yourself To Sew on

This is my first post–hope I can find this forum again, there are so many options!

I will be teaching a beginning sewing class.  The store specifies what must be taught–and one of the items is using tailors chalk.  I myself have tailors chalk– both pencils and cakes– that is decades old and still in the original packages.  I just never use it. and don’t know how it can be used to transfer marks from pattern to cloth.  Dressmakers carbon, tailors tacks, snips–yes.  I’d be glad to hear from anyone who uses it about the places and ways it is useful.  Who knows?  I might end up using my own!  Thanks for any tips.

Ruth

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  1. User avater
    stitchhappy | | #1

    Tailors chalk

    There are two types of tailors chalk, one of them contains wax. The chalk variety will brush off your fabric (sometimes when you don't want it to.) The wax variety disappears by melting into the fabric with your iron (also sometimes when you don't want it to.) Let's take a closer look. If you are working on a project with smooth lightweight fabrics and you know you'll need to refer back to the marks days or weeks later, tailor's chalk isn't your best choice because it brushes off so easily, but if you want a quick and easily removable mark that only lasts for a few minutes it's the perfect choice. It easily brushes away and no one will ever guess it was there. But if you are working on a heavy wooly fabric the chalk might just disappear into the fluff. That's when to use the wax based chalk. It doesn't sink into the fabric or brush off. It stays on the surface without rubbing off and then sinks invisibly into the fabric when you touch it with a hot iron. It works because the fabric has some loft and is porus. You don't use wax chalk on slick, smooth fabrics, or fabric that will absorb the melted wax to look like an oil stain. Test first. Chalk wears down as you use it and the line it draws gets thicker. Use a knife to sharpen the chalk edge. If you're set on using chalk but want an extra fine line that doesn't brush off quite so easily, try the powdered chalk that is dispensed through a fine wheel marking device--it's the best of all worlds.

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