By Steve Butler
What is it?– “The devil is in the detail”. It’s a common enough phrase. Perhaps some of us has even used it. But what does it really mean, “the devil in the detail”? How often do we start a project that looks like it’s going to be a snap, only to get bogged down in all of the details. You know, all the little things that consume so much time, make us a little crazy and eventually affect the quality of our finished project or maybe even determine if it gets finished. When it comes to sewing it all starts with measuring and marking. Everything has to line up to make our creative vision a reality.
The measuring part can be pretty standard. The marking part not so much. Why? Think of all the different fabric mediums we use. Cotton, wool, fleece, spandex, satin, chiffon, corduroy, faux suede, fleece, or micro fibers, they all have different textures and fiber characteristics so different marking requirements. And if that isn’t complicated enough, add a veritable rainbow of available colors to the equation. We need to be able to easily identify all of those inscribed points, lines, circles and curves so we can line everything up.
Therein lies one of those devilish details. There’s a lot to consider in choosing a suitable marking medium. A block of tailor’s chalk just doesn’t cover it anymore. In providing a solution to these modern marking challenges Clover has developed two very useful marking instruments.
What does it do?- Clover’s Air Erasable Markers and the White Marking Pen allow us to match the tool to the job. Something for every texture and every color.
White Marking Pen
Art. No 517
White Marking Pen– This is a fine point marking pen that is light activated and results in a fine white line. The light color and fine point makes very precise lines on dark, smooth fabrics. Perfect for our use. When we no longer need them the markings are eliminated simply by ironing them away.
Remember, because they are light activated there is a slight time delay in their appearance so wait for it. The brighter the available light in your studio, the shorter the delay. Also make sure the point is clear of dry ink before you start. Dry cleaning will have no effect on the permanence of the marks.
Air Erasable Marking Pens – These pens are available in extra fine, fine and thick points. The marks that they make are a unique purple color that contrasts nicely with all light and most dark colored fabrics.
Choose the point that best suits the texture of your fabric. If you’re marking corduroy the thick point (Art No. 5031) is more suitable. If we’re marking satin, the fine (Art No. 5032) or extra fine point (Art No. 5030) is the way to go.
Generally you will find that finer points work best on smoother fabrics. Our applications should be considered too. If you’re using a fine line template to inscribe a detailed design onto your fabric the extra fine point is the perfect choice.
The beauty of the Air Erasable Marker is that marks erase themselves over a period of 4 to 14 days, all depending on temperature, humidity and the amount of ink we’ve applied. If you’re in a hurry, marks can be removed immediately with the available eraser or with the application of water. Dry cleaning or ironing will have no effect on the permanence of the marks.
How do I share it? -Make sure your teachers use or at least demonstrate these markers in all of your classes. Perhaps the best way to show all of the advantages of these marking pens is to make a prop that resembles a quilt block. Include several squares of different types and colors of fabric. Then provide a selection of these marking pens and allow your customers to experience the benefits of each type of pen for themselves. They’ll find the one that suits their needs the best and that’s a win-win for everyone. Perhaps the best way to get the word out to your customers is to attach appropriate sections of this Tool School to your shop website.