The 5 Best Fabric Markers in 2023 (October)

Best Overall

Arteza Premium

Acrylic based, dual-tip markers offering vibrant colors with minimal bleed-through.
Best Permanent

Creative Joy

Dual-tip markers with excellent performance on light fabrics like linen or cotton, including unique silver and gold options.
Best Fine Tip

Colore Premium

A set of 20 fine-tip markers, perfect for detailed work on delicate fabrics, and great for gift-giving.

The Best Fabric Markers

Fabric markers offer unlimited creativity to spruce up most fabrics from cotton to canvas shoes. A permanent fabric marker helps adults and kids alike draw on t-shirts, baby clothes, and different fabrics to personalize items for gift-giving or to wear yourself. The best fabric markers resist fading, have permanent ink, are non-toxic, and work on different fabric surfaces.  

Some markers even come with dual tips that help create thin lines with a fine bullet tip or draw bold lines with a thick brush tip. 

Below we have covered our top choices for the best fabric markers and the top criteria when choosing and buying fabric markers.

Fun fact: The first marker pens had a glass container to store ink that was connected to a wick tip.

There are a few differences between fabric markers, fabric marker pens, and other types of permanent markers that we have covered below. 

Before starting to design your fabrics we suggest washing them first if there’s a possibility that it will shrink after being washed. We also advise letting the design dry for 24 hours before washing and drying.

To remove permanent fabric markers from fabric it’s imperative to apply a stain remover or peroxide with a damp cloth to the ink while it’s still wet. If the ink dries then your fabric art will remain permanently.

The ink quality in fabric markers is meant to be fade resistant and not come out of fabric once dried. Fabric markers require a surface that easily absorbs the ink such as cotton, linen or canvas.

To store cloth markers, keep them upright and if the ink dries, simply dip the fine tips or brush tips in water to revive.

Types of Fabric Markers, Pens, and Paints 

best fabric markers

There are a variety of markers, paints, and pens that can be used to draw on clothing. The difference is that some non-permanent fabric markers wash off and require a heat setting to set the drawings, whereas permanent markers cannot be removed.

Fabric Markers

A fabric marker is a permanent marker with ink designed to permanently adhere to fabrics. Their tip is also designed to not catch on thicker materials unlike non-permanent markers that are used on paper, porcelain, or other smooth surfaces. 

What’s more, fabric marker colors were designed and developed for use on light fabrics with their vibrant colors. To draw on dark fabrics we recommend using fabric paints or neon markers.

Choosing the type of tip to use for a fabric marker depends on the design and fabric material. Fine or thick lines can be created with dual-tip fabric markers. There are even bullet tips for very fine, thin lines and detailed work.

Fabric Pens

Fabric paint pens generally come with a bullet tip as opposed to fabric markers that come with a fine tip. They are also fade-proof and are meant to draw thin lines on different surfaces.

Fabric pens have a finer tip that can be as small as 0.8mm or finer. They are ideal for thin fabrics like silks, taffeta, or satins. Some polyester blends may not work well with some fabric pens.

Fabric Markers on White T-Shirt

Marker Pens 

Marker paint pens are similar to a fabric pen except that most have a paint reservoir inside the marker that can be refilled. 

Marker pens come in metallic markers and a variety of different application types to create designs using vibrant colors for gorgeous fabric artwork. 

Marker pens can be used on different surfaces from fabric, metal, plastic, wood, or even rocks. They’re one of the more versatile painting tools available and require less clean-up than paint brushes or exposed paint.

Fabric Paints

Fabric paint markers are also called opaque markers. They are the best fabric paint pens for dark fabric on t-shirts or canvas shoes.  

Sharpie Markers

Sharpie markers are a brand of permanent markers that offer brighter colors and go on easier, darker, and smoother than some other brands. 

The Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers below are specially designed for a range of different fabrics from t-shirts to canvas hats and tend to last longer than some other less expensive brands.

The Best Fabric Markers on the Market Today

  1. Best Fabric Markers Overall: Arteza Premium Acrylic Based Pigments
  2. Best Permanent Fabric Markers: Creative Joy Fabric Markers
  3. Best Fine Tip Fabric Marker: Colore Premium Fabric Markers
  4. Best Brush Tip Fabric Markers: Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers
  5. Best Kids Fabric Markers: Crayola Fabric Markers

1. Best Fabric Markers Overall – Arteza Premium Acrylic Based Fabric Markers 

Arteza Premium Acrylic Based Fabric Markers

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$29.99 – Our score: 8/10
  • Fade Resistant – Yes – Our score: 9/10 
  • Permanent Ink – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Non-Toxic – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Different Fabrics – Yes – Our score: 9/10

About Arteza Fabric Paint Markers

Most fabric markers aren’t dual tip markers like these 30 Arteza Premium markers. They are the best fabric markers for their thin and thicker tips, vibrant color selection, and very little bleed-through. 

These permanent acrylic markers suitable for fabric makers who like to spruce up a pair of leggings, a shirt, or create unique designs on a simple dress.

The thick brush tip markers can be used for heavier fabrics while the smaller tip fabric markers work well on lighter fabrics like silks. 

They require a heat setting and don’t work well on dark fabric even though the colors are rich and deep. Remember to securely replace the lid after each use to avoid the dual tip fabric markers from drying out.


  • Acrylic permanent colors
  • Best fabric marker for its dual tips
  • Easy to apply
  • Very little bleed-through on lighter fabrics


  • Ink is used up rather quickly

2. Best Permanent Fabric Markers – Creative Joy Fabric Markers  

Creative Joy Fabric Markers

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$8.99 (Was $19.99) – Our score: 9/10
  • Fade Resistant – Yes – Our score: 8/10 
  • Permanent Ink – Yes – Our score: 8/10
  • Non-Toxic – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Different Fabrics – Yes – Our score: 8/10

About Creative Joy Fabric Markers

Another option for dual tip markers, these 18 Creative Joy fabric markers are excellent for lighter fabrics like linen or cotton. 

Like most fabric markers they will not show through on darker fabrics, but their dual tips save money with their thick, wide tip and fine almost bullet tips. 

This set includes a silver and gold color option, primary colors, pastels, and browns for maximum creativity. We suggest using cardboard or thick paper underneath the fabric to avoid bleeding through.

Each good fabric marker meets ASTM standards, and they require a heat setting to secure colors to materials. We suggest washing the finished product in cold water for the first wash regardless of the color of the fabric. 


  • The thinner tip is excellent for outlining 
  • Good for beginners and professional artists
  • Good color variety
  • Work well for many different types of clothing  


  • Some bleed through
  • Younger artists may have difficulty closing the caps

3. Best Fine Tip Fabric Markers – Colore Premium Fabric Markers

Colore Premium Fabric Markers

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$12 – Our score: 7/10
  • Fade Resistant – Somewhat – Our score: 7/10 
  • Permanent Ink – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Non-Toxic – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Different Fabrics – Light and Thin – Our score: 8/10

About Colore Premium Fabric Markers

Each fabric marker in this set of 20 fine tip Colore Premium markers is excellent for smaller drawings. Similar to fabric marker pens, they are fade resistant, have vibrant colors and the bullet tips can be used for anything from outlining, calligraphy, or sketching. 

This set of markers makes the perfect gift for creative teens, adults, or younger children. They are also thin enough at 0.8mm to be used on satins, silks, and other thin, delicate fabrics. 

Like fabric pens, they will work on darker colors like denim or thicker fabrics like burlap or linen. They also don’t require heat settings like other fabric markers.

When coloring thinner cotton, silks, or linens place a thick paper underneath to protect the below fabric. This set is excellent for younger children or even older adults to create beautiful and interesting creations.


  • Best for detailed work with the fine bullet tips
  • Can be blended easily 
  • Great gift for younger artists
  • Good for ribbons, satins, and pieces of cotton  
  • Doesn’t fade so much in the wash


  • Dries out quickly if the cap isn’t replaced properly

4. Best Brush Tip Fabric Markers – Sharpie Permanent Fabric Markers  

Sharpie Permanent Fabric Markers

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$15.49 – Our score: 8/10
  • Fade Resistant – Yes – Our score: 9/10 
  • Permanent Ink – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Non-Toxic – Yes – Our score: 7/10
  • Different Fabrics – No – Our score: 7/10

About Stained by Sharpie Fabric Markers

Many fabric markers aren’t as fade-resistant as these 8 bright and bold Sharpie fabric markers that can remain bright after years and many washes. Their brush tips work well for blending colors or touching up specific fabrics. 

Fabrics include any material that can absorb the pigments easily and for lighter-colored materials that will allow the colors to really pop.

These water-based colors work well for blending, offer little to no bleed-through, and don’t require ironing or drying to set the colors.

For more detailed work, we suggest buying the fine tip Colore markers above. Note that satin, silks, or polyesters will have bleed-through due to their thin weight. 


  • Designed specifically for use on fabrics
  • Dries immediately
  • Does not require heat to set
  • This brand sells fluorescent fabric pens for darker-colored fabrics  


  • The ink doesn’t last very long

5. Best Kids Fabric Markers – Crayola Fabric Pens 

Sharpie Permanent Fabric Markers

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$6.30 – Our score: 9/10
  • Fade Resistant – Somewhat – Our score: 7/10 
  • Permanent Ink – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Non-Toxic – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Different Fabrics – No – Our score: 7/10

About Crayola Fabric Markers

One of the more affordable brands of fabric markers, these Crayola fabric pens offer vivid colors that would be expected of a much more expensive marker. Their fine tip is ideal for detailed work but the thicker part of the tip can easily be used to fill in colors.

The 10 colors include mostly pastels, but also dark red, orange, and black colors. Unlike some other fabric markers, these work well on polyester blended fabrics with little to no bleed-through.

To set the colors simply dry them on high heat or iron the colors to help them set and prevent fading. After several washes, there will be some fading, but the bolder colors will remain clear and strong.

These fabric marker pens are recommended for ages three and up, they’re easy to use, and work best on cotton or polyester blended fabrics.


  • Perfect for group projects like drawing onesies or at a kids’ birthday party
  • Good for use with stencils
  • Excellent as a gift for young crafters


  • Colors don’t stay as vivid and bright after many washes


We hope you found our guide to the best fabric markers helpful. We’ve covered the different types of fabric markers available along with our recommendations in various contexts.

We’ve discussed how you can choose the best fabric markers that don’t fade, don’t require heat settings, and remain vibrant even after years of washing. Lastly, we’ve combined our recommendations for those fabric markers that are excellent for younger artists, to create fine detail work, or for older artists that would like dual-tipped markers for added flexibility and versatility.

Thanks for reading; we hope our suggestions help you choose the best fabric markers, whether coloring your own clothes, using them as a fun and creative crafting project at a kids’ birthday party, or for a professional business. 

About Lauraine Velez

Lauraine is a freelance writer with a strong background in the arts. Lauraine is currently finishing her novel and has been exploring different art mediums for over two decades. Her favorite art activities include drawing, painting (especially watercolor painting), designing haute couture clothes, photography, and designing and creating gifts for family and friends.

In addition to Lauraine's expertise in art, she has experience in commerce content, grant writing, and health and wellness. Before becoming a freelancer, Lauraine held various positions in large and grassroots organizations locally and abroad.