In Design inspiration, Tips & techniques

We all love the fuzzy texture of felt but making a precise visible mark for sewing or cutting can be a challenge. Over the years I have found a few solutions and I am always on the look out for more.

All 3 tools can be purchased at big box fabric stores and online

Vanishing Ink Marker (top photo, left)
I think most sewers are familiar with this marking tool. It’s got a felt tip and the ink either disappears over time or can be removed with water. These markers work great on fabric, but just ok on felt, and best on light colors. They tend to dry out quickly, especially when used on felt.

I used the vanishing ink marker on this light background

Chalk Liner (top photo, center)

The pen style chalk liner tool is made by Clover. It contains loose chalk in a chamber that dispenses from a tiny wheel at the tip. You just roll it along to make your mark and brush it off to erase! This shows up great on darker felt and the tool is refillable. Test it first on your felt though, as sometimes it’s hard to brush off the chalk mark. A piece of sticky tape can help remove the chalk as well.

Heat Transfer Pencil (top photo, right)
Draw an image on paper with this cool little pencil, then iron it right onto your felt! You’ll have to reverse the image first, of course. The line stays nice and crisp, but it is also permanent, so keep that in mind. I haven’t tried it on synthetic felt, so be careful with the heat of the iron. There are also transfer pens that do the same trick.

Springtime Sewing Set
I used the chalk liner to mark the veins on the leaf before stitching

Pilot Frixion Gel Pen
This pen uses thermo-sensitive ink that vanishes with the touch of an iron! I don’t believe it was designed for crafting but it works great on felt. The only problem I have with it is when I need to press a seam but I still want my mark to show. Oops, where’d it go?! Also, the ink will reappear in freezing temperatures, just so ya know. All in all, it’s a pretty cool pen and it can be purchased at office supply stores.

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What do you use for a marking tools? Got any tips to share?

Felt Lore Part 2: reasons and resources
Felt Lore Part 1: my favorite felt


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Showing 5 comments
  • JLVerde

    For cutting out felt pieces (especially small ones) I usually tape the pattern piece to the felt with a curled over piece of tape on the back of the pattern piece.

    This works really well for small bits.

  • Betz White

    Great suggestion! For Part 4 of this series I’d like to share tips for cutting!

  • Hi! I'm Wendi!

    I’ve got to find that chalk pen! I’ve never seen it before, but it looks fabulous.
    I use Sulky iron-on transfer pens and they work great on wool blend felts. I’ve never tried them on synthetics.
    I tried water soluble pens once on that synthetic felt made from soda bottles. It spritzed away great – but reappeared when the felt dried. Aaack!

  • Betz White

    Wendi,
    I forgot to mention that the Clover chalk liners have different colors like blue, yellow and pink if you need another color. :)

  • Anonymous

    I use white eye liner pencil, which can often be removed by an eraser, and can be much cheaper than craft-specific supplies!

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