Ok, I'd like to think I'm pretty good with Google. That if I have a question, I'm pretty confident I can find my answer on my own. Not that there is anything wrong with asking someone else, but, I usually learn even more than I was bargaining for when I try on my own first.
I seemed to have failed last night, or perhaps, the information just is not out there. I'm going with the latter, because I'm good with Google. ;)
Either way, I'm taking it upon myself to add it to the world wide web so ya'll don't have to go through what I did last night.
I've been one of those that didn't really realize the importance of using labels on my quilts. I've never labeled one. I know. That's bad. Noodle lashings later please. :) I've read so many stories of quilts from the past and no one knowing where they were from or how they came about, and it broke my heart. So much love and time goes into a quilt, they deserve to hold the information of their origination. Future generations deserve to know where they came from and the history behind them. I'm going to label all my quilts from now on. I will also label the ones that I've made in the past that I can get my hands on.
So, last night I started playing with options. The one that I REALLY wanted to work was this one. I designed a really cute label, followed all of the directions carefully, printed my label and it was beautiful. I loved it. I let it sit for a couple of hours and then I did a hand washing test. My label was no longer pretty. It was faded and the ink bled. (see the large "wordy" label in the photo below). It was horrible. I haven't given up on this yet though. My printer is a photo printer and word is that won't work as well. I'm hoping sometime this weekend to try a normal ink jet printer to see if the results are the same. I will get back to you.
After this disappointment I tried a Pigma Micron pen as my local quilt store recommended them as well as many others on the www. Also recommended were zig pens and even Sharpies. As you can see above, I didn't have much luck with these either. I was getting worried as to how I was going to be able to do my labels. If the labeling didn't last, what was the point to even do them?
I persevered. Today I went shopping and grabbed a few more pens and did an experiment. I am by no means a professional or a spokesperson for any of these pens, this is purely just my experience and results may vary depending on fabric used, detergents, etc...
Let's do some test writing...
I used 8 different pens. Sharpie in black and a turquoise color, a Perma Writer II, a gel roller in black and one in red to see if there is a color variation, Pigma Micron, Zig and Copic Multiliner. I used Moda's Solid Natural fabric. 100% Cotton. I did NOT pre-wash this, it's right off the bolt. I did iron on freezer paper to the back of it to make it easier to write on. I also took a pass with the iron (cotton setting, no steam) after I wrote on the fabric. The above photo shows the results.
This photo shows the fabric after I ran it under cold water. No scrubbing. It's just wet.
This photo shows it scrubbed for about 4 minutes using dish soap detergent. Mine is Dawn hand renewal. I don't know if that makes a difference, but it shouldn't. I scrubbed it pretty hard against itself, more so than I believe a washing machine would. I'm tough that way. :)
This shows how it turned out after all that scrubbing and about 20 minutes in a high heat dryer! I also hit it with a hot iron, set to cotton, no steam, to get the wrinkles out.
The first thing I notice is how the ranted and raved about Pigma pen is one of the lightest ones on that fabric. I choose NOT to use that one. I feel the same about the Zig Millenium pen. Granted, on quite a few of the pages I read about Pigma pens, was that you had to let it sit and dry for 24-48 hours before washing it. I did not try this. I'm not that patient. =P
I wouldn't use the sharpie either. The black did better than the turquoise but still faded quite a bit. Now, I have heard that if you prewash your fabric before using the sharpie, it lasts longer, but I did not test that. I'm a bit weary about using a Sharpie on my precious quilt anyways.
The gel roller actually turned out the best out of all of them. The color didn't fade at all, even in the red. You do have to write a wee bit slower with this one for good coverage but it would be worth it.
The Perma Writer II turned out really well too. The tip is finer than the gel rollers so that is a positive if you have to trace fine lines.
The Copic Multiliner did well too. These are actually more for drawing, such as anime. When you use them with Copic markers, it won't bleed. However, that's a whole different ballgame. It's just nice to know they work on fabric too.
My end result is I want fantastic results, and I want them NOW! LOL. I am by no means saying not to use Pigma Pens. My own local quilt shoppes recommend them. It's just that I am not that patient. The gel rollers and the perma writer II are both pens made specifically for fabric and they turned out great! I choose these babies! :D
I would love to hear your opinion on what you use, good and bad, and if you try something similar to what I did, let me know your results. Or, even if this information was helpful to you, or not. :)
Happy Quilting....and as always....