Share Crafts

Setting Permanent Marker on Clothes

Autographed Jersey

Whether you are assigning or decorating clothing, sometimes you want that marker not to be washed away. This guide is about setting permanent marker on clothes.


Solutions: Setting Permanent Marker on Clothes

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Use Sharpie to Decorate Fabric

Do you have a child or teen's birthday coming up? How about a church youth group? Here is something we did that youth of all ages enjoy. We bought a package of colored Sharpies. They come in a set of 24 and might be a wee bit on the expensive side, but are worth it for the different shades of colors you get.

Have the young ones, and young at heart bring a t-shirt, pair of jeans, or anything else they have permission to decorate. Place a stiff piece of cardboard in between the front and back sides of the clothing. Lay out the markers on the table and let them go to it.

I have found that after they air for about an hour it helps to heat set the clothing in the dryer for about 10 to 20 minutes. Airing helps get rid of the lingering odored from the Sharpies.

By McCollonough from Nashville, TN

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!


Here are questions related to Setting Permanent Marker on Clothes.

Question: How to SET Permanent Sharpie Pen Ink into Clothes

How do you SET Sharpie Ink into clothes (primarily cotton or cotton blend t-shirts and also dennim pants/jeans).

I work at a Scout camp and at the end of each week all the staff and kids sign each other's camp shirts (or Jeans - mom's GOTTA love that! LOL). Anyway, last year, my daughter wore her t-shirt a lot and all the sharpie "permenant" ink came out in the wash - isolated case of NOT wanting it to come out, but I can't find anywhere to tell me how to make sure it DOESN'T come out!

Scouter James

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


Most Recent Answer

By TeenyBopit 1 07/09/2013

Here are the exact full proof way on how to set ink into clothes. Items needed- Salt, Iron, White Cloth. These instructions included in the link are very simply. ***Always wash in cold water as less as possible or dry clean. You must place the item of clothing with ink on it onto ironing board. Place the white cloth over the area where you'd like the ink to to set, Iron over the cloth on med-high heat setting. After waiting 24 hours after ironing every area. Place 1/2 cup salt into washer with cold water, no detergent. Wash item. Then dry in dryer.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Preserving Permanent Marker On Clothing

I've drawn on my pants with Permanent Marker and I LOVE the designs I did. How do I preserve it?

Serena from WPB, FL

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


Most Recent Answer

By FENandTASH 2 06/01/2008

You can use a colorless, water--based, acrylic paint as a sealant for the marker designs. Just brush a thin coat over your designs and allow to dry for 24 hrs. I'd probably turn jeans inside out and apply the acrylic to the back side of the designs as well, to prevent fading from both sides. Once dry, the treated fabric will feel stiffer than the rest but, it should soften up when washed.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Setting Permanent Marker on Clothes

This is the last week of school for me and I'm gonna have people sign my jeans, but if I wash them the Sharpie will come out. I need to know to get the ink to set so that it will be there for a while and not wash out after the 1st or 6th wash. I can't get out to get some special fabric ones, so help please!

By Kitty H.

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer


You can also hand stitch/embroider the signatures. I have a linen tablecloth from long, long ago that quests would sign and were embroidered over each signature. It looks really cool and you can use whatever color embroidery thread you would like for each signature. Yes, it's time consuming but it's worth it and a piece of artwork that cannot be washed away no matter what and will defintely last for your lifetime and beyond :-)

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Cleaning a Homemade T-Shirt

I made a homemade t-shirt with different colors of permanent Sharpie marker, and would like to know how to wash it without smearing the marker and ruining the t-shirt?


AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer

By Sally 16 226 02/24/2014

(Submitted via email)

The vinegar mixture made the marker run all over the shirt. Do not do this!


ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Permanent Marker Ran in the Wash

closeup of signaturePermanent Marker Ran in the Wash

I got the autographs of some soccer players on one of the team shirts and I washed it and the ink smudged a little. I was wondering if there was a way to take it out without completely ruinin the real signatures?

    By Poletderoybal [1]

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No