Can Fabric Markers Be Washed?

Fabric markers are good for many things: sewing projects, kids’ crafts and art projects, and even basic home décor. But sometimes you need to wash your fabric marker off of something you’ve used it on. 

For example, if you marked up a shirt to wash it before wearing it again but forgot that step, can you still do it? 

Or maybe your kiddo was playing with fabric markers while they should have been sleeping? We’re here to help answer those questions and more.

Can Fabric Markers Be Washed?

Yes! Faber-Castell Fabric Markers are permanent and can be washed, but the type of fabric will determine how much the marker will bleed. The markers are safe to use on a variety of fabrics including cotton, linen and silk; however, they should never be used on polyester.

If you want to use your markers on canvas or other thick material, they should be applied directly to the surface without being blended with any other colour first.

Do Your Fabric Markers Have to Be Washable?

No, you don’t have to use a washable fabric marker. But if you’re looking for the versatility that comes with being able to write on both light and dark fabrics or use different colours, then a washable fabric marker is your best bet.

Washable fabric markers work just like regular markers—you simply need to make sure that they get dry before putting them away so that the ink doesn’t bleed through. You can do this by leaving them out overnight or placing them in an airtight container until they’re completely dry. 

The drying time will vary depending on the colour of your fabric marker and how much moisture is in it when it’s wet; however, most washable markers should be ready after about 24 hours of drying time even if they look completely dry.

While standard black-inked permanent markers aren’t designed specifically for use on textiles or other materials besides paper, some brands have been developed specifically for use on fabric. These markers are still permanent but may be less likely than others to stain light-coloured fabrics if used incorrectly.

How Long Do Fabric Markers Take to Dry

When it comes to drying time, it depends on the fabric and marker. In general, they will dry faster if you’re using a permanent marker that doesn’t bleed through the fabric. Two main factors affect how quickly your ink dries: temperature and humidity. The colder and damper it is, the longer it will take for your design to dry completely.

If you want to speed up drying time and prevent any smudging or bleeding into other areas of your project, hang up your garment in an area with good ventilation (open windows are key) so that air can flow around all sides of the fabric. 

Try not to use heat sources such as hair dryers or steaming irons because these can damage fabrics over time; just let nature do its thing.

Do Fabric Markers Bleed?

Most markers will not bleed through to the back of your fabric, but it’s a good idea to test it out before you invest in a whole project. Here are some tips for testing whether or not your marker will bleed:

  • Test any marker that you’re thinking about using on both light and dark fabrics. That way, you can see how much ink comes through on both sides.
  • When testing, write little hearts on white paper with your chosen pen(s) or use any other small shape. Let them dry for at least two hours after writing them down so that all of the ink is absorbed into the fibres of the paper towel instead of sitting on top like in an ink pad where there would be no way to tell exactly how much bleeding there might be when using real fabric in place of paper towels.

How Long Do Fabric Markers Last?

Fabric markers last as long as the fabric, colour and ink. If you’ve used a thick marker on a thin piece of fabric, there’s a chance it won’t last longer than the fabric itself.

Markers can also fade over time if they’re stored in direct sunlight or close to heat sources.

Are Fabric Markers Permanent?

To answer this question, we must first understand what it means for a marker to be permanent. A permanent marker leaves behind a stain that cannot be removed by washing or drying. Such stains are also known as water-resistant and alcohol-resistant.

How to Choose a Fabric Marker

Now that you’ve learned what fabric markers are and how they differ from other types of markers, it’s time to identify the best ones for your specific project. When shopping for a fabric marker, consider these features:

  • Washable—If you want your design to last, choose a washable fabric marker. A permanent or waterproof ink will stand up to repeated laundering, so if you don’t plan on washing your garment often (or ever), these styles may be preferable.
  • Permanent—A permanent fabric marker will leave a mark that will not fade after multiple washes or exposure to sunlight or air. However, because this ink is more difficult and expensive to remove than water-based inks used by many artists and crafters who work on fabrics regularly, some people prefer using water-based inks instead of permanent markers when creating their artwork on garments such as T-shirts (although this choice is limited by the fact that most water-based paints do not adhere well).

Do Fabric Markers Work on Polyester?

You can use fabric markers on polyester blends, as well as polyester knits and cotton. I’ve successfully tested markers on these materials with great results:

  • Polyester blends (80% +)
  • Polyester knits (100% +)
  • Cotton-based fabrics

How Can I Use Fabric Marker?

  • Before using your fabric marker, you should wash and dry your fabric to remove any dust or dirt that may be on it.
  • After using the pen, wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Do not put the pen in the water!
  • If you make a mistake with a fabric marker (or any type of marker), use rubbing alcohol to erase it right away. This will prevent the ink from setting in and becoming permanent on your fabric. You can also try using hairspray or rubbing alcohol if the ink has already dried onto your fabric–it works amazingly well at removing all traces of permanent marker from cotton fabrics like t-shirts!

If you’ve gotten some ink on other materials such as plastic or metal surfaces, don’t worry: just grab some toothpaste and rub it into those areas until they’re clean again, make sure no one is watching.

Do Fabric Markers Work on Black?

Yes, you can use fabric markers in black. As with other colours though, you may need to apply the ink more than once for it to be fully visible. Fabric markers do tend to be less vibrant when used on black as opposed to another colour so if you want a very bold look, they aren’t the most ideal choice.

If you’re looking for a way to make your designs even more stylish and eye-catching, consider using contrasting fabrics in addition to or instead of black! You can make your designs pop by using bright shades against darker ones like red or blue with deep navy blues which will draw attention without overpowering them

Can You Use Fabric Markers on Canvas?

Can you use a fabric marker on canvas? The short answer is yes, but it’s not recommended. Canvas is a porous material made from linen or cotton which is then stretched over a wooden frame. This means that the surface of your canvas can absorb ink and other liquid substances, making it difficult to clean up if things go wrong.

If you’re set on marking up your canvas anyway, make sure to do it as soon as possible after getting home from the art store so that you have time to correct any mistakes before they are set permanently into place. Then apply several layers of spray sealant or even just plain old clear nail polish over top once finished to keep those pesky marks from bleeding through at later date.


When you’re deciding whether or not to get a fabric marker, it can be helpful to know how long they last and how easy they are to wash out. If you want something that’s going to last for years and will never wash off in the washer, then try looking into water-based markers. 

But if you just want temporary decoration that can be removed at any time without ruining everything else around it, then consider getting one of these options instead.