The Best Fabric Markers for Your DIY Project

Delight your inner artist with the best fabric markers for T-shirts, shoes, and all your decorative DIY art projects.

By Carol Benton | Updated Jan 19, 2021 1:54 PM

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The Best Fabric Markers Option


The possibilities are endless for DIY fabric art projects. You can personalize, decorate, and embellish T-shirts, jeans, purses, shoes, pillowcases, tea towels, baby gear, and more. The best fabric markers produce vivid, intense color effects and leave a fade-resistant finish that is machine-washable.

Dual-tip markers let you refine your fabric artwork by choosing the fine-line tip for detail or the thicker tip for bold lines, color fill, and blending. Shiny metallic fabric markers yield bright results on dark and even black fabric backgrounds. Sets of markers provide ample color choices to stir your artistic imagination and turn clothing and home decor items into fabric masterpieces.

Some fabric markers require a heat setting to ensure permanent, lightfast, and washable color finishes. This is easily accomplished with an iron, and colorfast results mean you can enjoy your fabric artwork for a long time. Other markers achieve permanence with natural drying over a 12- to 24-hour period. Of course, you may also want to use vanishing ink markers to trace directions on sewing and quilting projects or employ simple black laundry markers for clothing identification on labels. The top picks for the best fabric markers available today include a plethora of choices to suit your DIY projects and other fabric-marking needs.

Our Top Picks

Let your imagination run wild, and dream up your next DIY fabric-marking project. Then, begin to turn your dream into reality by selecting from dual-tip or single-tip and vibrant or metallic color options in fabric markers. If your project will involve little helpers, consider nontoxic, child-safe choices as well. The top picks even include nonpermanent markers for sewing and quilting, as well as solid black, machine-washable, laundry-marking pens. Read on to learn more about some of the best fabric markers available today and begin your fabric-marking adventure.

Best Overall

The Best Fabric Markers Option: Arteza Fabric Markers, Set of 30 Assorted Colors

Choose from 30 vibrant colors in this set of fabric markers from Arteza. Let your inner artist go wild with vivid hues such as lemon yellow, flamingo pink, orchid purple, and elephant gray. Each marker features two tips: a fine tip and an ultrafine tip. Create designs on clothing, upholstery, shoes, and totes with this ink that is weatherproof, fade-resistant, and lightfast.

Heat setting ensures the permanence of your artistic creation on fabric. Simply let the ink dry completely for six hours. Then, iron your decorated fabric on its reverse side, using a cotton setting for five minutes. For best results in caring for your fabric, wash it in warm water with a mild detergent.

Rest assured that children can safely use these nontoxic markers. They are certified safe by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as well as by European Standard (EN).

Runner Up

The Best Fabric Markers Option: 36 Colors Fabric Markers, Shuttle Art Fabric Markers

Indulge your fabric-art dreams without stressing your bank account. Shuttle Art offers 36 vivid color choices at a budget-friendly price. The ink contains rich pigments for intense colors, and it dries quickly for permanent, fade-resistant, long-lasting beauty.

Use these fabric markers on purses, baby bibs, baseball caps, pillowcases, socks, T-shirts, shoes, canvas totes, and more. The markers feature fine bullet tips that facilitate drawing smooth lines on fabric surfaces without color bleeding. For color permanence, let your project dry naturally for 24 hours. Then, you can wash your fabric at temperatures below 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

For peace of mind, Shuttle Art markers are nontoxic, acid-free, and low-odor. They meet safety standards set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Best for Kids

The Best Fabric Markers Option: Crayola Fabric Markers, At Home Crafts for Kids

Children can decorate and draw in detail on clothing, shoes, baseball caps, and other accessories with these safe, nontoxic fabric markers from Crayola. Think of the creative, rainy-day projects children can create with the 10 vibrant colors in this set. These bright, bold colors will show up on both light and dark fabrics, expanding their DIY options even further.

Crayola fabric markers are intended for use on cotton and polyester fabrics. Once your fabric-decorating project is complete, simply run it through a dryer cycle to lock in the permanent color. After that, your fabric masterpiece is machine-washable.

Each marker features a fine-line tip that allows children to draw smoothly on fabric, creating whatever whimsical and fanciful decorations their imaginations may dictate. The ink is safe and nontoxic, making these markers suitable for children as young as 3 years old.

Best for Canvas Shoes

The Best Fabric Markers Option: Aen Art Fabric Markers Pen 30 Colors Permanent Paint

Put your best foot forward in unique, artistically decorated canvas shoes with these fabric markers from Aen Art. This set provides 30 ultrabright colors for your next shoe-decorating project. The premium German fabric dye ink is long-lasting and also resists fading, even after multiple trips through the washing machine.

Each marker features a fine writing bullet tip that facilitates both coloring and calligraphy-type precision drawing. The ink does not bleed, and it dries quickly. Although these markers are not intended for use on black fabric, the vivid colors will produce stunning results on lighter backgrounds.

In addition to canvas shoes, you can use Aen Art fabric markers on handbags and totes; hats, bibs, and baby gear; leggings and jeans; and much more. These markers work beautifully on paper as well; they’re ideal for doodling and adding rich color pigment to your favorite adult coloring book.

Best for Dark Fabric

The Best Fabric Markers Option: Dyvicl Metallic Markers Paint Marker Pens

Dyvicl offers 10 vibrant metallic colors to enliven your next fabric-decorating project, even on dark and black backgrounds. Choose from green, light green, dark red, purple, blue, silver, black, gold, bronze, and white options in this set. Rest assured that no matter which colors you select for your DIY project, each one leaves a bright, shiny, metallic finish. The white marker seems at first to be transparent, but it dries to an opaque, bright-white hue.

The medium bullet tips on these markers make it easy to fill in colors as well as draw vivid lines. The water-based ink dries quickly, and it’s also chemically stable to resist fading over time. Specially formulated for safety, the premium-quality ink in these markers is acid-free and contains no xylene (a potentially harmful solvent used to thin paint).

In the past, you may have avoided fabric-painting projects on dark or black clothing and accessories, as most fabric markers simply do not leave visible markings on dark fabric backgrounds. However, this set of metallic markers may just expand the horizons of your creative possibilities. In addition to fabric, you can use these markers on most surfaces, including card stock, rock, ceramic, glass, and more.

Best Dual Tip

The Best Fabric Markers Option: US Art Supply Super Markers 20 Unique Colors Dual Tip

Refine your artistic techniques with these dual-tip fabric markers for DIY projects. Each marker features both a fine tip and a broad tip. Use the fine bullet tip for detailed lines, outlining, and sketching. Then, use the broad chisel tip to fill in color and enrich your artwork with shading and blending. These professional artist-quality Super Markers from US Art Supply will enrich your decorative creations with both delicate precision and broad strokes.

Choose from 20 radiant and intense hues across all colors of the rainbow that contain rich pigments for all fabric types. They dry to a permanent finish that is fade-resistant and machine-washable.

These markers are completely safe for children to use. They are nontoxic and conform to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and European Standard (EN) for child safety.

Best for Clothing Labels

The Best Fabric Markers Option: Crafts 4 ALL Permanent Fabric Marker Laundry Marker

Use this set of two permanent fabric markers by Crafts 4 All to clearly identify and personalize clothing, bedding, camping gear, and other fabric items. The nonbleeding ink is premium quality, and it’s designed to leave permanent black pigment on all types of fabric labels.

The versatile dual tips allow you to write with both thin or thick lines. You don’t need to limit your efforts to simply writing names on labels for laundry identification. Think of writing inspirational messages on T-shirts or canvas tote bags, or use one of the markers to copy one of your grandmother’s recipes onto a white tea towel and present it as a cherished gift for a family member.

The highly pigmented black ink from these fabric markers dries to a permanent finish. It resists fading and can withstand normal machine-washing.