Now for something completely Different…FriXion Pens

This Summer has been hectic and cheerful for the most part — but I’ve been sewing more than blogging. Will try to do both better.

In that spirit I want to tell you about something new and different.  Eventually I hope to share an assortment of techniques, supplies and projects, but today it’s a secret weapon — suitable for marking fabric or invisible writing!


Pilot now makes an “erasable” pen that uses  thermochromic ink. Why is this so cool? Because the pen comes in a few colors, and highlighters, and since it is a temperature sensitive ink, it “disappears” at 140F (and reappears below 15F). You can mark a project or write a message to a friend, and “erase” it with an iron or the hard plastic eraser on the pen. You can send a note to a friend (or someone’s grandchild!) that remains invisible, until put it in the freezer for awhile. (you might want to use a different pen for address or instructions). You can write things on your quilts, and remove them when you don’t want them any more.


This 12″ x 12″, Penguin Chic, was made for a challenge at New Pieces in Berkeley. It has a message written with the FriXion marker, so I can change it if I want to. So far “Casual” sums it up. Remember never to label a quilt with the FriXion pen – unless its meant to be temporary…

My poor son was encouraged to study this phenomenon for his science fair project, last year. The most important thing he found out (for me!) was that the “invisible” ink remains on the fabric with the potential to reappear, until the fabric is wetted. Some folks have reported a ghost line appearing on fabric that is not washed or wetted after being marked and ironed. I have not had this experience.

We discussed a worst case scenario that involved shipping a quilt to a show in a cold part of the country, in the Winter, in an unheated truck or plane freight compartment. In theory, if the quilt had been marked, sewn, ironed, but not then washed or wetted, it could arrive with pen lines on it… which would again become invisible with the heat of an iron. Not a big problem depending on the show, and your restraint in writing things on your quilt you think no one will see….


If you launder your completed project the issue is taken care of. If your marking lines are not showing (inside sew allowance, etc) while “visible”, it’s a non-problem. The highlighters work the same way, but seem less useful for marking in general — I’ll think of something!


About sewberkeley

I'm happiest making things.
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