I've seen these new Pilot Frixion erasable gel pens come up a couple times as a good, removable fabric marker for quilters.
They're made for paper. But not checks or legal documents!
While I have a white ceramic pencil that I love for darks, I still haven't found a tool I love for marking light fabrics. Plus, at less than $2 a pen, you can't beat the price.
But a PEN. Really? I wasn't so sure.
I set up some experiments.
Kona white. The words Rub and Iron, along with the squares, are on there with a sharpie. That way I could keep track of exactly where I made the Frixion marks.
The second a hot iron hits that pen, the mark vanishes. Actually pretty fun!
For paper, there's a little nub on the end of the pen that you rub over the writing to get it to vanish. The heat of the friction is what makes the pen go away. Didn't really work on fabric, but thought I would give it a try. Rubbing with my finger didn't heat it up enough to get it to go away either.
But, can you see that up there? The color is gone, but the gel is still on the fabric. It left a faint white ghost behind.
I did this on a scrap of color, and the ghost line was there, too. But it isn't white...it's a, I don't know, ghost? Couldn't get it to photograph but you can see it from an angle. (Probably wouldn't bother anybody else but a neurotic like me.)
Now, some poor souls have lost their class notes or other important stuff due to leaving their paper in a hot, summer car. That level of heat erases the ink. They suggest putting your paper into a sub 14degree place to get the ink back.
So, my fabric bit went into the freezer with my pizzas and waffles. After only 5 minutes, the mark came back!
And it didn't go away once the fabric warmed up again. You had to hit it with the iron to make the lines disappear. On the up side, they DID disappear again.
I tried adding it to my fridge. But after a half hour in 40 degrees, the lines were still gone. I didn't try to figure out where the line was between cold that brought back the marks and cold that did not. But from Pilot's suggestion, I would think it's around 20 degrees F.
Next up, what happens when you wash your stuff in cold? Will the lines come back?
I just used the coldest tap water, as if it was in the wash. The lines did not return. BUT, you can see in the photo below how those ghosts show....it was easy to get their photo holding it up to the window.
I would advise against using this pen to mark things like drapes or perhaps clothing that will show the marks when you're outside and the sun shines behind you.
One last test - I gave the marks a good, soapy scrub. They still came back after sitting in my freezer for 5 minutes.
The ability of an iron to get rid of the color didn't seem to change no matter what I did to the fabric.
It was kind of fun, like my own magic show. Here - gone - here - gone.
I have actually used the pen on fabric since my tests, because it marks so nice and dark, to keep track of where I need to stop for the miter on my binding. It is sooo fast and easy to get the mark to disappear with a hot iron, I wasn't afraid to use it in the seam.
So, if you use a Frixion Pilot to mark your quilts, I would make sure the remaining ghost marks will be hidden in some way by a seam or perhaps your quilting. And if you end up using your fabric item outside on a sleigh ride in the winter cold, you may need to hit it with an iron once again to get rid of all the black lines that will show up.