We tried 6 different fabric markers to find out which one was the best. While there was a clear winner, I've included two runners up which a lot of people have around the house.
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Best Permanent Fabric Marker Pen of 2023
Pentel Arts Gel Roller for Fabric
This relatively new entrant to the market writes as smoothly as any gel pen. The tip glides over rough fabric surfaces and delivers a regulated stream of 1mm wide black ink. It's consistent delivery of ink and complete indifference to the toughest laundering makes this a stand-out winner! Can be washed and tumble-dryed multiple times with no change.
Pigma Micron Archival Ink - Various Thicknesses
I was using these for years before discovering the Pentel. The Micron pen is a stable in any artist or designer's toolbox and works well for those who prefer a thinner line of ink. Simply write and then iron to set the ink. There is a small amount of fading with each wash but it's barely noticeable unless, say, you repeatedly washed something as part of a test of permanent pen resiliency.
Sharpie Ultra Fine
Don't try to tell me you don't have a sharpie somewhere in your home. They will fade noticeably with washing but unless you're making a baby quilt that might not matter. Their availability and likelihood of already being in your home made this one a no-brainer to include.
Agree or Disagree?
Let us know in the comments if there are other pens we should test that you really like!