Almost two years ago I wrote my most popular post-a comprehensive explanation of Frixion pens, the heat erasable pens. For some reason there has been a huge flurry of repostings lately along with comments from readers about their experiences. You can read the post here if you’d like. I contacted the manufacturer when I wrote the article, so it is the real deal.
I get comments from readers that by using this or that, they were able to get the marks out. Know this: if you happened to get the marks out permanently, I’m thrilled for you! But, it’s a fluke! The best you can expect from these pens is that the mark really does disappear. But, and this is very important, the invisible ink will not go away, just the mark. No spray, no treatment, no washing-nothing will make that ink go away according to the manufacturer, who ought to know! The inks are acid-based and you know what acid will eventually do to your quilt…
Which brings me to today’s topic: chemicals on our quilts. If you begin to think of anything you put on your quilt as a chemical, it changes how you think. So pencil, chalk, any kind of pen-heat erasable, air erasable, water erasable, or even detergent can alter your quilt, so think very carefully about anything you put on your quilt. Yes, some markers are safe, but think before you mark.
So a couple of thoughts:
-Read the directions on the package! For instance, on water soluble pens, you must wash them to get the pen out completely. Spraying will only cause the mark to migrate to the batting, only to show up as an ugly brown stain after you’ve washed it. And most water soluble pens say they must be first washed without detergent-detergent can set the marks as stains! Also, any heat source can set the marks. So a sunny window, a hot car, a sleeping cat, light from your machine, etc can heat set that mark.
-I did a little reading on the Crayola wash outs and they too are acid-based and can be heat set, according to the manufacturer.
-Make sure you don’t combine products on the same line. One time I marked with an air erasable pen and realized I would not quilt it before they disappeared. So I marked over that line with a water soluble marker. Those marks never came completely out.
-Some “safe” products, like chalk, can still leave stains if it’s the wrong color. Like red chalk. Ask me how I know. It never came out.
There is a big difference between products that I will leave in my quilt and products that are washable. I am not concerned about products that I will wash out, like spray baste or blue wash out markers, even if they are acid-based.
Anything that stays in, I think very carefully about before using. Like say you use a Frixion pen in an area where the marks will never show on a quilt that you won’t wash. Yikes, that pen has acid in it. Sure you won’t see the marks, but the acid will be there, slowly doing its job of disintegrating fabric.
So short and sweet-think very carefully about any product you use on your quilt!
Look for the links on Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday!