Saturday, June 18, 2011

NOW YOU SEE IT . . . NOW YOU DON'T . . . or . . . DO YOU?????

If you haven't been to a quilt show or in your LQS lately, you may have missed the latest-and-greatest product to hit the market since Rotary Cutters.  Well, maybe not that big, but people are gasping in amazement and buying up these little notions by the thousands!

Me included!  I was so taken with a demonstration, I bought 3 on the spot.  In my dewy-eyed purchasing coma, I foggily heard the salesman saying something about "re-generating" your design if you "accidentally" erased it.  That one little comment has come back to nag at me during sleepless nights.  So I decided to conduct my own little Consumer Product Test.

The premise of the pens is that you can mark your fabric and erase it in it's totality with a hot iron.

Very pretty and available in several different colors for all of your fabric marking needs!

Then, with a quick swipe of your iron . . . now you see it . . .

And NOW you don't! Voila!

I was overwhelmed, overjoyed, overcome with this latest-and-greatest invention to make my quilting life more fabulous.  Why, this little product alone would probably make me younger, skinnier, smarter and richer!  Well, could happen!

 But . . . something . . . the salesman had said about "re-generating" the markings kept niggling at my brain.

Oh, yeah, something about extreme temperatures are what activates the gel ink.  So, I placed my little sample block in my deep freezer (had to shuffle some hamburger patties and fish sticks around, but got it in there) and left it to "activate" for 45 minutes.

And, activate it did!  Case in point:

ALL of my scribblings . . .  Yes, by golly, for the Love of Corn, each and every one of them were back in all of their full color glory like a zit on Prom Night!

So what?  I hear you, gentle audience, objecting!  You are not giving your beloved quilt to Eskimos or plan on packing them in ice for perpetuity!  I get you . . .  same thoughts I had!

So, I gave it the Woolite wash and air-dry test.

And here, you have it, the marks are gone again . . . But are they?  Really?  Or are they like a version of a bad slasher movie?  Just when you get snuggled under your beautiful new quilt with a bowl of popcorn and settle in for a Saturday night flick, you glance down and . . .

Oh, it is just too terrible to contemplate!

Below, is the description of the Frixion Pens from Amazon

Technical Details

  • Erase and rewrite repeatedly without damaging documents
  • Thermo-sensitive Gel ink formula disappears with erasing friction
  • Smooth writing Gel ink
  • Not recommended for use on legal or official documents
  • 3 pack of assorted colors

No where did I see anything about use on fabric, acid-free qualities, long-term effectsor excessive eyebrow growth on lab rats.

Soooooo, gentle reader, I caution you to use at your own risk!  Personally, I will probably refrain from marking any of my heirloom (haha) quilts with one.  But have fun, let your kids use them for Science Experiments or playing April Fool's jokes.

I think I will go back to good old tried-true-and-tested-by-Yo-Grandma chalk!  After all, if it was good enough for Grandma, it should be good enough for me!



Wendy said...

Thank you for the most awesome of reviews dear lady ... I like the idea of letting the kids use them for fun ... only not near my quilts! :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Excellent review! Quilters are scammed with hype, color, and marketing. I alone would not buy it because it says right on the package - 'gel ink' and 'use on document'

JCnNC said...

I am of the same conclusion as you - but un-knowing people are out there buying them up. Thanks for also spreading the word on these "I can't live without pens" -because quite frankly I can. Judy C

Madame Samm said...

I am sewwwwwwwwwwww is this a good thing or bad...I guess not a good idea for doing up patterns for stitching...what would you use them for if they would always be there your take on them though lol

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm so glad you posted this. Someone had mentioned that the marks returned when the fabric got cold...but exactly what is cold? I'd be afraid that if the electricity was off (which happens to us in the winter occasionally) and the house gets cold would all the marks come back? Too awful to contemplate! blessings, marlene

Deanna said...

Good testing! Thanks for the information.

Linda said...

I picked up one of these pens and wrote out a check. I went to the bank with it and the ink had disappeared. I had to write it again, this time with a different pen. I went home to see what I had used and threw the pen away. Can you imagine if I had sent a check in the mail and it was blank when they got it?

Christine M said...

Thanks for showing us how the pens work. But I don't think they're the ones for me!

Benta At SLIKstitches said...

Did you try re freezing the test fabric after you washed it? That would be interesting

Truffle queen said...

I agree - who knows if in a year or whatever - holes appear wherever you had marked with the pen! EEEK! That great-granddaughter who inherited GRANDMA's quilt - and "poof" holes all over - and she blames it on her kids or dogs or husband! lol Go for the chalk! LOVE your blog!
Have you tried Crayola washable markers? Wonder if that will eat the fabric down the line?

Truffle queen said...

Wait! My comment disappeared! Love your blog! I can't imagine what this gel does to the fabric?! One hundred years from now that heirloom (?) quilt could be full of holes! YIKES! What about Crayola washable markers?

Lucy said...

Thank you for this post. I recently purchased one of these pens, only because it was purple, :). Guess I will make sure I only use it where it will not be seen on the finished project.

Cathie said...

Thanks for testing these out! We've been playing with them in the shop and they are fun but we're a little leary too. We also found that the black and blue pens leave a discoloration on darker fabrics after ironing. Have yet to test if it can be washed away.

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Thank you SO SO much for this!!! I hope to find those pens also!! Thanks!!! :)