Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Frixion Pen Testing

Frixion pens have been available for a few years now and many quilters love them as a marking tool. I did some testing back in 2013 and found that I couldn't remove the marks completely and so I have always resisted using them.

I thought that it was time that I retested them just to make sure. They are available at newsagents and supermarkets everywhere and marketed as an erasable pen. You just need to iron away the pen lines.

Frixion pens
I drew a heart on some fabric in red and black.

Frixion pen drawing
The marks ironed away easily, it seems too good to be true.

The drawing erased when ironed

 I remember a warning when they first became popular that said that the marks reappear when they get cold, so I put the ironed away fabric in the freezer for a few hours and sure enough the hearts reappeared.
I re-ironed the hearts away with steam and put them in the freezer again and the marks re-appeared again.

2nd freezer test
The next time I tried putting the fabric in the fridge and the hearts did not come back and I wondered if the pen lines had gone at last so I put them in the freezer again and once again those marks came back,

3rd freezer  test
I didn't try to remove the marks anymore after three attempts they always came back when exposed to extreme cold.

Then I remembered that a favourite marking tool of mine is the white Clover iron away marking pen. I wondered if those marks came back in the freezer.

Clover iron away marking pen
I drew a heart on the dark fabric with the Clover marking pen.

Heart drawn with Clover marking pen
I let the mark sit for a few hours to set and then I ironed it away and placed it in the freezer.
Ironed then placed in freezer
The heart drawn with the Clover marking pen did not re appear.

I suppose the difference with the two pens is that the Clover pen was developed for using on fabric but the Frixion pen was not made for fabric use.

It's a disappointing result with the Frixion pens because they give such a fine, clear mark to use as a quilting line.

Now I know that I never put my quilts in the freezer but I do send my quilts away in planes where they get very cold in the luggage storage and I would hate for my quilt to arrive for a competition or exhibition and find out that those marks have re appeared.
Saying that, several well-known quilters have used the pens and posted them overseas and not had a problem. The trouble is that those marks are still there in the quilt, they have not gone. It makes me wary of using them.

Just after I had finished my testing I saw an article done by Jenny K Lyon, who had done her own testing and then went a step further and contacted the makers of Frixion Pens who told her that the pens were not developed to be used on fabric. Click here to see the article.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Frixion pen people developed a pen that could be used on fabric?

Bye for now,


Dawn said...

Thanks for showing the test results, I use these pens all the time and havent had a problem but then lucky for me, its not that cold here. I know I shouldnt use them but they do give me a great fine line....think I'll risk it for now.

Linda Steele said...

I can understand you using them, I love that fine clear line too