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Topic: sealing sharpie on fabric?  (Read 50903 times)
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« on: May 27, 2008 07:37:40 PM »

I am in the process of drawing an image on fabric (cotton) with fine tip sharpies. Is there a way to seal the image so it will be super long lasting? I am not planning on washing the object often (its just a bag) but I am concerned about the ink bleeding or fading from use.

Has anyone had this problem? Any solutions?

p.s. The reason i used sharpies was they were half the price of fabric markers and they seem to come in more colors. Its not a huge project and I will use the sharpies for tons of other stuff.

Thanks a bunch! I can't wait to post the finished project!!
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2008 09:51:01 PM »

I have never sealed my sharpie work on fabric... I have a pair of jeans that I took to school, work and random people on the street to write/draw on and Ive worn them for about 4 years and They are not very faded... worse comes to worse You could always go over it again with the markers.

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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008 09:17:17 PM »

I agree - no need to seal it - this coming from the mother of the Evil Daughter who enjoyed writing on her jeans with a sharpie when she got bored in class (which was often). You CAN'T wash it out! Now, the FABRIC might fade...

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008 05:28:28 PM »

As long as it's 100% cotton, silk, or nylon, you've washed it before you start using the markers, and you don't wash it like scrubs, the sharpies will stay on there just fine.  Some fabrics have a chemical finish on them that repels the marker (or anything else), for instance Hanes t-shirts straight out of the package.  I do like to heat set before I wash something like that; cotton setting, no steam.  I use sharpies to color beading thread to match projects all the time.

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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009 09:08:24 PM »

Trust me.
Once you have drawn something onto fabric with sharpie, well.

For instance, every year at camp we get shirts and then get people to sign them.
I have mine from like, five six years ago that I wear to bed sometimes.
You can still clearly read most things (the black once are easier then say, the purple ones).
And I agree, if worse comes to worst, you could always just go over whatevers fading, but, from my experience, it shouldn't bleed...

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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009 10:24:25 AM »

What exactly are you meaning by "sharpies"? ("Sharpies" are actually a brand of markers, but some people refer to all markers and even all felt-tip pens as "sharpies").

The Sharpie markers can bleed and/or change color or fade from UV light or harsh detergents depending on a number of variables (even if "sealed"), but you can use other things instead which won't... for example:

...pigment pens and markers (and stamp pads)
..."fabric markers"
...acrylic "inks"... or acrylic paints (perhaps thinned with clear "textile medium" or even water, if you want), with a "dip pen" or stamped/etc.

(Be sure and wash the fabric first, or clean other surfaces, to remove any stiffeners that might be in or on them, or any oil/debris, and don't use any softeners when washing/drying fabric ... all those things can act as "resists" to the markers).

TIP:  If this hasn't already been discussed here, it's good to stabilize fabrics before drawing or lettering on them with pens if possible so you'll have more control.  The fabric can be pressed onto a sheet of very fine sandpaper, for example, or it can be ironed temporarily onto the shiny side of freezer paper, or pressed to a piece of cardboard/etc which has been sprayed with temporary spray adhesive (let tack up or "dry" first so can easily remove later).


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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009 05:55:19 AM »

DianeB I like that idea of stabilising the fabric.

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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2009 06:03:44 AM »

DianeB  thanks for the tips.  and all you that said wash fabrics first  DER me  I always had problems with sharpie (yes teh real ones)   washing out within at most 3 washes.  will try washing fabric first now.

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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009 12:46:00 PM »

Me too!  I learned about prewashing the hard way after the first year we signed shirts at camp and they gave us new shirts to use.  Those signatures washed out in about 5 washes.  The new unwashed shirts didn't take RIT dye very well either.  The signatures on the 50/50 cotton poly shirts also didn't hold up well even with prewashing, but they lasted longer than 5 washes! 

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