A Little Research on the Frixion Pen for Quilters

Have you seen the new Frixion Pen by Pilot?  It’s a new pen that erases with heat or friction.  Use it to mark your fabric and simply iron it and the marks disappear, as if by magic!

Or do they?

I purchased a few to try and I was amazed at how easily the marks disappeared with the heat of an iron.  So I wanted to try it on an entire quilt top for free motion quilting..but

Frixion Pen by Pilot

Frixion Pen by Pilot

…after reading a few articles I was a bit more skeptical.

Several sources said the marks that disappeared with the heat of your iron would re-appear if the quilt gets cold enough.

For example, they told the story of a woman who used the pen to mark her quilting lines.  After ironing and thinking the marks had disappeared, she entered the quilt in a prestigious quilt show only to find out that the marks hard re-appeared during shipping through cold climates.

So…before trying to mark quilting lines myself, I thought I’d give the pen my own little research test before using it on an entire quilt top.

Here’s what I found out!



Here’s my little test strip.  I drew several lines (pressing down lightly & pressing down hard) with the Pilot Frixion Pen (black) on a piece of scrap Moda Solid White cotton fabric.  (Note: The writing on the right was done in permanent ink.)



Then I ironed it.  No problem!  ALL the lines disappeared as if by magic!



BUT they began to re-appear after only 10 minutes in my freezer



Here’s the same test piece only 1 hour in the freezer–all the marks have re-appeared!



I let the test strip sit at room temperature for over an hour, just to see if they might fade again.  Perhaps just a bit, but they’re still there.



So I ironed the test piece, & the lines disappeared again–just like the first time.



So I wondered what would happen if I washed the test piece in hot water with mild soap and then dried it with the iron, and put it in the freezer again…?



SUCCESS–the lines did not re-appear after an hour in the freezer — or after being left overnight in the freezer.


So the bottom line is this:  USE WITH CAUTION!

1) Only use the pen where you won’t see it (back side of square when marking corner to corner to make half-square triangles, or marking seams to line up your sashing, or in the seam allowance of a patch, etc.), OR

2) Be sure to wash the quilt before giving it away, selling it, or entering it in a quilt contest!


Happy Quilting!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts






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