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What Are Water Soluble Markers? Find Out Now!

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

what are water soluble markers

The world of markers reveals an exquisite collection innovatively designed for every use. There are permanent markers, dry-erase markers, chalk markers, and paint markers.

Then, what are water soluble markers? How do they differ from other types of markers? Some thought of them as similar to watercolor markers or water-based pens.

However, they are used on fabric and come off easily with water, making them ideal for tracing patterns and drawing temporary markings for sewing and various crafting projects.

But let us dig deeper and learn more about their uses.

Water-soluble Markers and Their Uses


First of all, how should we define water-soluble markers?

At first glance, these markers look like any typical marker for writing or drawing. On the contrary, water-soluble markers are specifically manufactured to write or draw temporary marks or lines on the fabric.

They are often used as embroidery marker pens or sewing pens to trace patterns or draw guidelines on fabric. They are commonly referred to as water-erasable markers.

These washable fabric markers stand out for their disappearing ink that creates sharp and vivid lines but magically disappears when washed off with plain cold water or soaked in soapy water.

Different Uses of Water Soluble Markers

Before getting yourself some water-soluble fabric markers, you should learn what you can do with them. This way, you can use the marker correctly and get the most out of it.

Let us take a closer look at how you can use water soluble markers for fabric materials.

1. Embroidery Pens


Embroidery presents exquisite needlework that creates embellished fabric designs.

And water-erasable fabric marking pen can help improve your needlecraft to execute your designs perfectly. They can be used as embroidery pens and draw guides to capture your desired embellishments.

Some water-soluble pens have smaller nibs used to draw delicate and complex embroidery details.

2. Clothes Pattern

Water soluble markers are considered essential tools for every experienced and beginner tailor or sewist for their sewing needs.

One of these is clothes patterns that include exquisite beadwork or delicate stitches, which should present symmetrical features.

With these markers, you can visualize the patterns and map out your design before placing your ornaments. Beads and buttons, for example.

3. Sewing Guide

Whether you are working on a bespoke dress or quilting project or simply mending your favorite shirt, it can be easier to wrap up your sewing work if you have guides.

Water-soluble markers can help, allowing you to create sewing guides or lines to get your job done correctly and quickly.

4. Color-coded Temporary Markings

Water-soluble markers also come in different colors, and you can take advantage of that when working on embroidery and sewing projects. These markers can create color-coded markings and lines.

Water Soluble Markers and Their Drawbacks

As amazing as these water-soluble marker pens can be, there are still a few setbacks we should know:

One of the crucial issues is that the inks tend to reappear when they are washed incorrectly.

That said, it is imperative to determine the fabric you use for sewing or embroidery. Since they are delicate, you cannot wash it off on silk, wool, hand-dyed thread, or fabric. Moreover, markers may not likely come off from these materials.

Further, water-soluble markers do not work well on dark-colored fabrics and they can bleed on thin ones.

Things to Remember Before Using Water-soluble Markers

There are important things to remember to ensure you get the best results when using these markers and minimize any errors.

  • Always consider the type of fabric and thread you are going to use.
  • Always follow the proper washing instructions. Otherwise, the inks will reappear.
  • Only iron your embroidery or cloth after washing the markers away first.
  • Try the marker first on an inconspicuous area of the fabric before using it for the actual design.

How to Wash Away the Marker Correctly?


As mentioned, some manufacturers do not provide any fabric markers washing instructions, which could result in bleeding, or feathering, or the marker will not be removed at all.

Here’s a simple and easy way to effectively remove the traces of water-soluble markers. There are two ways you can do it. Consider the following guide:

1. Use a cloth and cold water

This technique works best on fabrics suitable for water soluble markers.

Simply use a wet cloth and gently rub it in the markers. They will disappear immediately.

However, the key is to use cold water. Never use hot water, or else it can set the markers permanently.

2. Soak the fabric in soapy water

This works best on embroidery when the markings are typically right under or in between the thread.

  • First, fill the bowl with water and add a few drops of mild detergent or dishwashing soap. Soak the fabric for a while.
  • Soak the fabric properly if you are trying to wash the fabric for chromatography experiments and let the dyes bleed or separate.
  • Then, rub it gently to allow the soap to work on the markings.
  • Lastly, rinse the fabric gently under running cold water until the residues are gone. Allow it to dry.

On the other hand, if you are using a heat-disappearing fabric pen, washing is not necessary. You can use a clothes iron and run it over the fabric, and the markings will disappear.

Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of markers are water soluble?

Water soluble markers are specially designed for light to medium-colored fabrics. They can create markings for sewing, embroidery, and various needlework projects. The markings can be removed easily with the correct washing process.

Are water-soluble markers washable?

Yes, they are. These markers are designed to draw temporary markings on the fabric.

Does a water-soluble pen come off?

Yes, it does. You can easily wash the markings off with a wet cloth or soapy water. Always make sure to use cold water. Hot water will set the markings permanently.

What are the best brands for water-soluble markers?

The Wrights water soluble marking pen is among my favorites because of its sharp and vibrant blue ink that draws markings perfectly on fabric. This pen is the ideal option for embroidery.

You will also find other compatible water soluble pens all over the web, including the ones for embroidery Michaels selection. Moreover, other brands worth trying are Dritz, Clover, Andaa, Sewline, and Leonis.

Are laundry markers the same as water-soluble marker pens?

No, they are not. Laundry markers are used for labeling clothing tags with permanent markings. Unlike water-soluble markers, laundry markers do not wash off.

Are water soluble markers the same as fabric markers?

No, they are not. Fabric markers are specifically designed to create permanent embellishments or artistic designs on the fabric. These markers, such as Crayola markers for fabric, usually contain dye, ink, or paint that does not fade or wash out easily over time.


Overall, what are water soluble markers?

In this article, we have learned that water-soluble markers are solely designed for fabric. These markers create temporary markings that can easily be washed off with cold or soapy water.

With proper use and washing, you can get the most out of your water-soluble marker pens and present your best work yet on embroidery, sewing, and different needlework tasks!

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