Best Fabric Markers

To help you find the best fabric marker for your arts and crafts projects, we tried out a multitude of top products, ensuring they worked with a wide variety of fabric types, including canvas, polyester and cotton, among others. We also liked markers that offered plenty of different colors, so as to increase creativity, and different-sized tips, to better suit personal aesthetic choices. Finally, we liked products made from non-toxic ingredients that are safe to be used by children.

The best item we tried was easily the Arteza Fabric Markers, which come in a multipack of 30 units, each boasting a different vibrant color. These markers are permanent, with ink that can survive multiple trips to the washing machine, and fade resistant and lightfast. They boast dual tips, fine and ultra fine, and are made from completely non-toxic ingredients, making them safe to be used by children. Keep reading to learn more about these Arteza Fabric Markers and the other products on this list.

Top 6 Best Fabric Markers

 #1  Arteza Fabric Markers

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantastic multipack that arrives with 30 markers, each boasting a different vibrant color, that create machine washable designs that are also fade resistant and lightfast, in addition to being safe to be used by children.

Pros
  • Most color options on list (30)
  • Dual tips
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Excels with light fabrics, but not on dark leather
  • No option for white
  • Markers on thin side, so they don’t hold that much ink

These Arteza Fabric Markers come in a large multipack, featuring 30 differently colored markers, which is the most to be found on this list. The colors on offer are vibrant and each marker contains dual tips, fine and ultra fine, for making minute adjustments. We also liked that the designs made with these markers are machine washable, fade resistant and lightfast, and that they are manufactured using non-toxic ingredients, making them absolutely safe to be used by kids.

Though these markers excel with the creation of designs on light fabric, they are somewhat translucent, so they don’t do as well on darker fabric types, such as dark leather. Additionally, the 30 colors on offer are all gorgeous, but there is not a white marker in this pack. You can also check out these dual brush tip Arteza markers on Amazon.com. Always make sure to use the best laundry detergent to keep your fabrics looking good after you create your design.

 #2  Super Markers Dual Tip Fabric & T-Shirt Marker Set

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Great set that comes with a lifetime guarantee, with a non-toxic formulation that is safe for children and dual tips that vary wildly in size, one for detail and one for broad strokes, the latter being perfect for shoes.

Pros
  • Best for shoes
  • Non-toxic and safe for kids
  • Lifetime guarantee
Cons
  • 20 colors, as opposed to 30 with top pick
  • Machine washable designs, but needs to dry for 1 full day
  • Can bleed if you aren’t careful while drawing

This Super Markers Dual Tip Fabric & T-Shirt Marker Set comes with a lifetime guarantee, which is tied for the best guarantee or warranty to be found on this list. They also feature a completely non-toxic formulation, conforming to ASTM D4236 and EN71 certification standards, making them completely safe to be used by kids as young as three years old. We also loved the varying sizes on offer with the dual tips, one being perfect for ultra-fine detail work and the other for broad and thick strokes, making them the best fabric markers for shoes.

Though the colors on offer are vibrant, this pack only comes with 20 color options, as opposed to the 30 found with our top pick. The designs they create are machine washable, which is in line with our top pick, but they take a while to dry, with the company recommending a full day before washing or wearing. Having to wait a long time for up to 24 hours may not always be convenient, but your end product will be worth it. After a day you can wash it in the best front load washing machine.

 #3  Crafts 4 ALL Permanent Fabric Marker Laundry Markers

Award: Best Non Bleed

WHY WE LIKE IT: High quality product that excels with making designs on white fabric, including onesies, with dual tip markers that create bold and thick designs that are machine washable and exhibit no bleeding to speak of.

Pros
  • Best for onesies
  • Dual tips for minute adjustments
  • Machine washable and non-toxic
Cons
  • Comes with 2 markers, as opposed to 30 with top pick
  • Black is only color available
  • Top picks offer ability for finer detail

These Crafts 4 ALL Permanent Fabric Marker Laundry Markers work to create thick and bold designs, thanks to the presence of extremely vivid black ink. The quality ink on offer, along with the availability of dual tips for making adjustments, makes this the best fabric marker for onesies, along with being a stellar choice for any and all light fabric types, thanks to the complete lack of color bleeding. The designs these markers create are machine washable and the markers themselves are completely non-toxic, so they can safely be used by kids of all ages.

Though the designs these markers create are indeed vibrant and noticeable, black is the only color option available, which may not suit every consumer. Additionally, these come in a two pack, which is significantly lower than the 30 markers that come with our top pick. Always follow the instructions before putting the finished fabric into the best washing machine.

 #4  Best Bullet Tip Fabric Markers

Award: Most Versatile

WHY WE LIKE IT: Versatile design that excels with a wide variety of fabric types, over 100, including polyester and denim, with quick-drying functionality and arriving in a large multipack featuring 24 vivid and distinct colors.

Pros
  • Great for Polyester
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Dries quickly
Cons
  • Not for dark leather
  • No white marker
  • Single tip

These Best Bullet Tip Fabric Markers arrive in a multipack of 24 units, each featuring a unique and vibrant color, with an ink formula that is designed to dry quickly. The pack comes with a lifetime guarantee, which is tied for the best guarantee on this list, and excels with a wide variety of fabric types, including denim and cotton, among over 100 others. Also, these are among the best fabric markers for polyester, as the colors really tend to top with this fabric type.

Though these markers do indeed excel with polyester and a wide variety of other fabric types, the colors don’t really shine through with dark leather. Additionally, these are single tipped markers, so you’ll have to be careful as you make adjustments. As always read the instructions carefully so that you know which of the best detergent pods work well with it.

 #5  Creative Joy Fabric Markers with Permanent Brilliant Colors

Award: Best for Decorations

WHY WE LIKE IT: Multipack with a large variety of vibrant color choices, including the best gold and silver varieties we tried, which really shine when used in elegant homemade decorations.

Pros
  • Excellent for canvas shoes
  • Minimal bleed
  • Money back guarantee
Cons
  • Available in 12 or 18 colors
  • Excels with light fabrics, but not dark leather and related fabric types
  • Takes a bit of time to dry, helped along with iron

These Creative Joy Fabric Markers with Permanent Brilliant Colors come with dual tips that offer a large degree of flexibility, with one tip being perfect for fill-ins or broad strokes and the other perfect for ultra-fine detail adjustments. This, along with the vibrant colors on display, make these the best fabric markers for canvas shoes, as they make it easy to create big and bold designs on your favorite pairs of Converse, and a fantastic choice for elegant decorations, as the gold and silver markers are the best of these colors that we tried.We also liked that they feature minimal bleed and that they come with a money back guarantee.

Though the colors are indeed vivid in detail, these markers are only available in multipacks containing 12 or 18 color options, which is less than our top picks. Additionally, these markers don’t do so well with extremely dark fabric types, such as dark leather, as they struggle with visibility. Always check the fabric/paint marker instructions and recommendations, like how these specific marker pens tend do well on fabrics like lighter-colored canvas.

 #6  Crayola Fine Tip Fabric Markers

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-friendly multipack that contains an assortment of color options, each with a fine tip, a design that minimizes color bleeding and a non-toxic ingredient list, making them perfectly safe for kids 3 and above.

Pros
  • Extremely safe for kids
  • No bleeding, if instructions are followed
  • Excels with cotton and polyester
Cons
  • Must be heat set with iron or dryer
  • Single tip
  • 10 colors (top pick has 30)

These Crayola Fine Tip Fabric Markers are a budget-friendly option that do not skimp on the high end features. They are completely non-toxic and absolutely safe to be used by children, a feature we’d expect from Crayola. These markers also do a great job of drawing on cotton and polyester and they boast minimal bleeding, as long as heat set instructions are followed.

These markers only feature a single tip, however, which makes filling in large areas with color somewhat difficult, as the tip on offer is fairly fine and detail-oriented. Also, this pack only comes with ten color options, whereas our top pick comes with 30 color options.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we took great care to pick fabric markers that excelled with a wide variety of fabric types, including cotton, denim, polyester and, in some cases, canvas and felt. We also ensured that the colors on offer were bold and vibrant, with easy and clear visibility, even on fabrics that were colored something other than white.

We also liked markers with dual tips, which can offer some manner of control over minute adjustments, with one tip often being used to color fill-ins, in addition to making broad strokes, and the other typically being used for making small and detail-oriented drawings. We did include some single tip markers, however, if we felt the product was of an exceptional quality in all other aspects.

As far as machine washing goes, we made sure all of the above marker sets offer some level of integration with washing machines, even if temperature settings are somewhat restricted. Finally, every single set of fabric markers we featured is safe to be used by children, as young as three years old, as they are all manufactured using non-toxic ingredients.

Fabric Marker Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Fabric Types
    Take a moment to think about the types of fabric you will be using these markers with. All of the above products excel with cotton, particularly t-shirts, and most do a passable job on canvas and polyester. If you are looking for markers to work with denim, felt or other less prevalent fabric types, you may want to read the fine print to ensure your chosen product will hold up to the particular fabric. We made sure that every pick on our list integrates with most fabrics, but there are some fabric types, such as dark leather, that are difficult to work with and require specialized care.
  2. Dual Tips
    Fabric markers with dual tips offer some clear advantages over their single-tipped brethren. Dual tips, essentially, double the “font” sizes on offer, with one tip typically allowing for broad strokes, along with applying wide swaths of color, while the other allows for the adjustment of minute details, such as creating outlines to be filled in later, among other tasks. Like all things, however, choosing the right number of tips depends on what kind of art you are looking to make with the fabric markers.
  3. Heat Setting and Machine Washing
    Many of the above markers require some kind of heat setting, which can usually be done by running an iron over the design or by placing the piece of clothing in tumble dry for 30 minutes. As far as washing goes, all of the above products feature some kind of protection to ensure that colors will not fade or bleed after going through multiple wash cycles. Be sure to read the instructions, just in case the particular marker requires a certain wash temperature and wash length.

Fabric Markers FAQs

Are Sharpies good for fabric?

Sure. Sharpies are fine for fabric and do offer some protection against color fading in the wash. Sharpies, however, do not feature the kinds of attention to detail that many of our top picks boast, including a wide variety of color options and dual tips, among other innovations.

What is the difference between fabric markers and permanent markers?

Permanent markers, such as Sharpies, are great for people who don’t plan on washing their chosen fabric too often. They can stand up to several wash cycles, but not as many as dedicated fabric markers. This is because fabric markers often need to be heat set, which essentially makes the design a permanent part of the fabric.

Which is better fabric paint or markers?

This is all according to personal preference. Fabric markers are extremely easy to use and usually made from non-toxic ingredients, making them safe for children. Markers also offer minimal cleanup. Fabric paints, on the other hand, can create some unique designs that are simply stunning to behold, but can be made from unsafe ingredients, in addition to being a hassle to clean up.

Do fabric markers wash out?

Fabric markers are designed so they do not wash out, even after going through multiple wash cycles. This goes doubly once you have heat set a particular design into the fabric, usually with an iron or by throwing the garment in for a tumble dry session.

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Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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