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Do Fabric Markers Wash Out?

do fabric markers wash out
Decorating fabrics or reworking old shirts using fabric markers is another way to showcase your artistic skills. The fabric designs painted with these markers exhibit creative painting techniques, intricate strokes, and vivid colors. But probably your main concern is, do fabric markers wash out?

Fortunately, fabric markers are formulated with permanent color or dye that bolsters the durability and quality of colors. These amazing markers are highly resistant to bleeding and fading, which preserves the beauty and vibrancy of painted fabrics even after several washes.

Just a heads up, keep in mind that not all fabric markers are permanent. Some are washable while other markers contain ink that easily bleeds and wash out.

In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about fabric markers, why some do wash out, and how to keep your fabric designs durable!

Do Fabric Markers Bleed and Come off When Being Washed?

It greatly depends on the type of fabric marker. But the good news is that permanent fabric markers do not bleed or come off in the wash because they contain permanent ink or dye.

However, some brands offer washable fabric markers, also referred to as water-soluble or water-based fabric pens. Many fabric markers for kids usually have this formula. These markers are not permanent and may come off easily when washed.

Another factor is whether a fabric marker is bleedproof and waterproof or not. Although most permanent fabric markers have these properties, some do not. Therefore, you can check the labels or formulation to ensure the resistance of a fabric marker against bleeding and frequent washing.

The type of fabric you used is another significant factor that can affect the quality of fabric markers. Even though you can work on many types of fabric, fabric markers work incredibly amazing on cotton and canvas because they absorb ink efficiently. Thus, the markers will not bleed and can last long.

Aside from that, the drying process makes a lot of difference. If you put the fabric or shirt right after you decorated or painted it with fabric markers, the ink will likely bleed and the colors might even spread to other fabrics in the wash. It might also come off eventually.

Therefore, the correct drying time will help the ink to settle in the fabric and stay intact even after several washes. Generally, it is recommended to let it completely dry for 24 hours or up to 3 days before washing it.

Do not touch the ink or dye to prevent any uneven patches or messy marks on your fabric design. When it gets ruined, it can be quite challenging to modify or remove the marks.

However, the proper drying period varies from one brand to another. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions of your fabric marker regarding this matter.

How Should You Wash and Care for Clothes with Fabric Markers?

do fabric markers bleed

When it is time to wash the clothes or fabrics you decorated with fabric markers, take note that it should be done after the recommended drying period. Although permanent fabric markers will not wash out, proper care and washing can ward off color spreading or bleeding.

Take note of the following tips:

  • It is always imperative to read the manufacturer’s instructional guide regarding the recommended washing and handling process. Keep in mind that every fabric marker brand has respective guidelines for this.
  • Make sure to turn the shirt inside out to protect the fabric design and prevent any damages.
  • Although these fabrics are typically machine washable and can be washed in a normal washing cycle, it is better to do it in a gentle cycle to protect the fabric. Use mild detergent. You may also opt for handwashing.
  • A lot of experts recommend washing it using cold water, especially for the first wash. Washing it using warm water will also do.
  • After washing the fabric, hang it dry or tumble dry low.
  • You may iron or heat set the fabric design to enhance its durability. Do this on the opposite side at a low heat setting. You may do this after drying the design completely. However, this process is not necessary. But if you are comfortable doing it, you may do so.

How to Know if Your Fabric Markers are Bleedproof and Waterproof

Choosing a waterproof and bleedproof fabric marker is crucial if you do not want to settle for a fabric marker that will just bleed and wash out eventually. Therefore, you can check the label for the formula. Most manufacturers indicate whether the fabric marker is waterproof or bleedproof.

Aside from that, the best way to know is to test the fabric marker. Remember that if it runs or bleeds, it is probably not waterproof. Water-based or water-soluble markers are usually not waterproof.

Aside from that, you should consider other key features in a fabric marker: lightfast, UV-resistant, and weatherproof. These elements help make fabric markers long-lasting.

How Long Can Fabric Markers Last on Clothes or Any fabric?

When handled properly according to the recommended drying period and washing process, fabric markers can stay intact in clothes for a long time.

Permanent fabric markers do not wash out and can last for years or even a lifetime. Much more so if they are lightfast and UV-resistant, these fabric markers can deter fading and discoloration.
If you are using washable fabric markers, you may expect them to fade and wash out on your clothes over time.

Wrapping Up

Permanent fabric markers do not wash out on shirts and other fabrics because of their permanent ink. Aside from that, they share exceptional properties that make them lightfast, durable, and fade-resistant. On the other hand, washable fabric markers do wash out.

The type of fabric marker and fabric as well as the correct drying, washing, and handling process can make a lot of difference. These significant factors can determine whether fabric markers will wash out or not eventually.

Hope the information in this article has helped you with your concerns about fabric markers washing out. Should you ever redesign or work with fabric markers that you want to last long, consider the guidelines mentioned above.

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