Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quilters BEWARE!

We have all heard it said.........if its too good to be true, it probably is.

Have you seen the pens on the market that are erasable? Have you seen them at your local quilt store? They are called FriXion. The ink disappears when you run the iron over it. It seems like magic.....ah, but remember that line about something being too good to be true?

Back in April, I tried this pen out and was impressed, well that was until I saw the warning on the packaging.........extreme temperatures? (click on the image for a better view) What happens at extreme temperatures?

Well the ink reappears. Great for a magic act at a child's birthday party, but not so good for your quilts.

I found that if I put the fabric I had "erased" into my freezer, the ink reappeared, I wanted to give it a better test, so I did the same thing again but this time I left the "erased" fabric for 6 months before exposing it to the cold (hoping that after this much time had passed, the ink would not reappear) Nope, no such luck, the markings did indeed re-emerge.
You can see in the photo below that the markings come back VERY visible.

Now you may be saying to yourself...........why would I put my quilts in the freezer? well of course you would not BUT think about times when your quilt could be exposed to extreme temperatures. I can tell you that during our Canadian winters it can get mighty cold in the trunk of my car on the way to a guild meeting, what happens when you ship your quilts? They can often spend a day or two in very cold warehouses or in a cold shipping truck. I can just imagine sending a beautiful quilt off to a show and the judges opening the package only to see lots of ink all over the quilt........I am fairly certain they would NOT be impressed.

I have seen these pens available at quilt shops, (they come in lots of colours) upon speaking to one shop owner, she was completely unaware of the problem with these pens AND because the pens a sold individually, you probably are not getting that packaging with the warning on it. So just beware of what "could" happen if you decide you want to try these pens out on your quilts and please share this with other quilters you know.



15 comments:

Jen said...

I've seen a few other blog posts about these, some of them involving extensive testing. Apparently they wash out pretty well -- as long as you wash your quilt after using them then they seem to go away completely (i.e., they don't reappear in the cold.) Not that I've ever tried it, but that seems to be the consensus.

Cathi said...

I've wondered about those pens. I also have read that washing the quilt helps get rid of the marks, but I don't think I'd want to chance it.

Marianne said...

yes I was asking
" now why did she put it in the freezer? "
Thank you so much for answering that question...and thanks for the warning too.

Karen S said...

I've been playing around with them too -- yes, they seem too good to be true. I haven't tried washing them out, but I've heard that they don't. So that's a test I'm going to have to perform. I hope they do because they write so nicely on fabric.

Quilt Hollow said...

I've seen several post about this pens all raving reviews. AND....just this week there is an AD in one of my quilt magazines with these pens!!

Diane J. Evans said...

Thanks so much, Jill. I've not yet seen these pens on the market, and I am very wary of products with disclaimers like these on the package. You're so very good at running interference for all of us -- you do save us time and tears.

Diane

Jackie said...

Well, they should just not sell them to the Canadian Eskimos! LOL... thanks for letting us know.

PS. Loved your art work in the last NL.... and chuckled and called you 'show off ' to myself when Marsha sent out the reminder email to all the contributors and stated that she already had yours in for the next one... I have NEVER handed mine in prior to her email=)LOL

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word - I too thought it was the best when I heard about it and bought one, only to find out the hard way how it was affected by temperature changes.

Textile Queenie said...

I can't quite see the make of the pen here but I understand that Pentel have a new one just out?

Shirley said...

I have them in the store but tell everyone about the marks reappearing. Someone suggested using it as a security device-write, heat erase, if stolen then ice to show marking. But if it washes out then that won't work. I still want to try a hair dryer instead of an iron.

Clare Wassermann said...

My kids use these for their school work because the eraser on the end rubs out from the heat generated by friction. Trouble is if they put them on a radiator all their writing disappears!!!!!

Joan said...

Havnt seen this one before - You amaze me the way you test various products...It such a help to us all .. and wonderful of you to share. Glad you explained about the freezer.. :)

Quilter Kathy said...

This is my fear in using marking pens. What a great idea to test it over time...thanks for sharing the results!

Andi said...

I realize this post is quite old, but I thought I'd let you know that I do use (and sell) this brand of pen. I recently marked a top for quilting on a quilt meant for a local show, and following Sharon Shamber's advice, I heavily steamed the quilt top (and washed it eventually)to remove the marks. I did the test of putting it in the freezer, and my marks did not reappear. Apparently she keeps a professional steamer in her studio for steaming various fabrics, but always runs it over her quilt tops as well to be sure all the ink disappears.

Quilt Rat said...

Hi Andi......I am not telling others not to use this product...It is useful and writes smoothly on fabric BUT...the ink does NOT completely go away....it simply hides. if you look very closely you will see an almost ghost image of the line. Not everyone wants to wash their work...which means that those chemicals may stay behind and who knows what it does to the fabrics as time goes on....and certainly we don't all have access to a professional steamer.
If you buy these pens in the packaging from an office supply store...the temperature warning is there....BUT I rarely hear a seller of single individual pens (a cup of them displayed at the quilt shop) tell a customer of the potential for the marks returning. Again, I think it is a great product but like many things on the market, they need to be used correctly for the best results.

Copyright Jill Buckley