How to Make Your Own Fabric Markers

Make Your Own Fabric Markers by Nicky Perryman artist

I’ve fallen in love with Copic markers recently but after some research, found out they are not very light fast and washable on fabrics so sadly relinquished them as serious fabric colouring contenders. I’ve been trying out Liquitex Acrylic inks as they are washable on fabrics and are superfine so suitable for use in drawing pens. I love the idea of refilling pens (eco friendly) and being able to choose your own colours even better. So I thought I’d combine my love of Copics and Liquitex inks together. I bought an empty Copic Sketch marker from SirStampALot and filled it with some Liquitex Acrylic Ink – I chose Dioxazine Purple straight out of the bottle this time, partly because I love purple but also I think it’s a great basic outline colour and not as harsh as black. I wanted to try it out before I mix up other colours to use as base colours to outline with. I’ll probably invest in some more empty markers and mix up some custom colours like greens, browns and oranges.
Copics are designed to be refilled so pulling the nib out is really easy – you don’t even need tweezers even though they sell special ones to use for refilling. Once you’ve pulled one of the nibs out, fill the marker with ink and put the nib back in. Lay it horizontal for the ink to fill both ends and saturate both nibs. I had to pull the nib out again and add a bit more ink to make both nibs saturate fully. It was a bit messy – next time I think I will use a tiny funnel. The acrylic ink in Copics works a treat and quite fine lines can be achieved on fabrics. So what’s the advantage of making your own markers? Control over colour shades and combined with great nib quality of copics is more than enough to convince me it’s worth doing. The ability to refill saves money in the long run and is very convenient to do when you see your favourite marker fading away. There are other options like using aqua brush pens – these also work well with silk paint or acrylic ink but they don’t have the marker nib but a nylon brush tip. Different but also very useful.

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