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Setting Permanent Marker on Clothes

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.

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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 odor from the Sharpies.

By McCollonough from Nashville, TN

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10 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 12, 2005

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!



Thanks,
Scouter James

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By Heidi (Guest Post)
August 27, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would iron it (as someone else suggested) and then soak it in cold strong saltwater (just as you do when dying a garment). Afterwards wash in cold water only.

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By trykbos (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful
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Someone told me to put it in the dryer first.

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February 5, 2020

I have a jean jacket that I'm drawing on in gel pen. I wanted to know if there was any way for me to get the ink to set into the jacket so that I could wash it without smearing the ink.


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February 5, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Only fabric ink will hold its color. There are fabric pens you can purchase. Gel ink will not last and will fade out when washed. Maybe you can try a fabric sealer. This puts a coating over your design for longer lasting. This piece would have to be on gentle or hand wash!

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February 5, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Not sure it works with all gel pens. There are some you can set by ironing them. Take a piece of parchment paper, cover the design and gently press the fabric on a high heat for about 30 seconds. I would only hand wash, inside out after. It may still come out if it was a generic type gel pens. This technique works for fabric specific gels.

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February 5, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Gel markers will look great until you need to wash the jacket. In some cases, they will start to fade after extended wear of the jacket. You are better off to buy a set of fabric markers to use if you want to decorate your demin jacket. I would suggest that you buy Craft 4 All Fabric Markers. These work great and the yon't run or fade. This way you can wash the jacket. Another idea to use is gel fingernail polish for your project. This one works well and you can wash the jacket.

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May 25, 2020

I used permanent marker on outdoor cushions. How do I seal it?


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May 26, 20200 found this helpful
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There is a material sealer called De Mite that can be sprayed on fabric in order to seal it and protect it. I know they have this on Amazon where you can buy it. But right now they are out of stock. Here is the link so hopefully you can find out when they will get some more in. If they don't then go to your craft store or even fabric store and find a good material sealer that you can use to protect the material on your cushions. www.amazon.co.uk/.../B002UEHJVM

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May 30, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

an acrylic spray sealant should work fine. But even the best sealant probably will not protect it from fading from UV rays, however.

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March 21, 2017

I have pair of Stone jeans and I wanted to color one with a drawing. If I use permanent markers would it stay on the pants and not fade?


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March 21, 20171 found this helpful
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Fabric markers work much better, and won't run when washed.

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May 22, 2012

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.

Answers

May 23, 20120 found this helpful

What a great idea!

Have you thought about going over the Sharpie signatures with fabric paint after your friends sign the jeans?

You can buy it at stores in the US like Michael's HobbyLobby, JoAnn Fabrics, and other craft stores. You used to be able to buy it at WalMart but most of the stores have really cut back on their craft departments.

Read the labels and directions carefully-several companies make a machine washable line of fabric paints, the paints come in gorgeous colours, some even sparkle and 'puff'.

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May 24, 20120 found this helpful

I don't know what kind of sharpies you use, but I have gotten accidental marks on my clothing that have NEVER washed out after numerous washing.

I had been using the brand name Sharpie (the expensive ones. I know you can get knock offs that have that name). I do use Sharpies to mark names on t-shirt necks that have stayed also. Sometimes alcohol will get some of the ink out, so stay away from that.

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May 24, 20122 found this helpful

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 :-)

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September 10, 2006

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

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September 11, 20060 found this helpful

Hand wash in cold with VERY mild soap, hang to dry.

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September 12, 20060 found this helpful

If the designs begin to fade too much.... trace over them again w/ the permanent markers, or maybe you will enjoyu the faded look also, for a while.

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September 12, 20060 found this helpful

If it is the design you love and not the color, draw over it with a bleach pen and you will have a white version. If you want both design and color, then I agree with previous posts, gentle washing and repeat as necessary. A sharpie marker should stay in fairly well.

TC in MO

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September 16, 20060 found this helpful

why not go over the designs with fabric paint?

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June 1, 20082 found this helpful

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.

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May 26, 2005

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?



Rita

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May 27, 20050 found this helpful

i would wash it on permenant press with Woolite

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June 9, 20050 found this helpful

Editor's Note: Many people have complained about this comment, stating that it removes the Sharpie instead of fixing it. Use caution if trying this tip.

Before washing, place it in a dishpan or bucket with 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water for an hour to set the colors. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, then wash by itself, on permanent press cycle, cold water.

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February 24, 20145 found this helpful

(Submitted via email)

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

Lisa

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November 4, 2015

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?


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