Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Turkey Tracks: Quilt Label Problem

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Turkey Tracks:  December 1, 2016

Quilt Label Problem

I’ve never had this problem happen before now:

img_1722

What on earth???

I use Sharpie precision (very fine) permanent ink pens to write on labels.

I prewash my fabrics, so I never wash a quilt before sending it along–and this time, because I used a blue marking pen for the quilting grid, I did.  As an aside, I will say that I absolutely loved how washing the quilt makes it look.  Soft, cuddly, altogether wonderful.  I may be a new convert to washing right after finishing a quilt.

So, now, I was horrified that all my labels would run like the one above.

So, I began testing the markers–and micron 08 archival pens–on muslin and running them through the washer.  I like the Sharpies because they don’t dry out quickly.  Friend Megan Bruns suggested I store all pens upside down in jars to prevent drying out.  The gel pens, in particular, dry up pretty fast.

Here’s the first test:

img_1721

The silver gel pen washed right out.  but look at the rest.  Not a smudge!

So, maybe it was the COLOR of the pens.  Like the teal/green I used in the label above.

Here’s the second test:

img_1723

Some smudging on the teal IRONED marking.  the rest is clear.  I did iron the label on the quilt.  Why I don’t know.  Maybe because I was going to wash it right away and wanted to heat set the label.

So, I do not have a clue as to why that particular label ran so badly.

It will have to come out, of course.

Maybe it is a good idea to prep the label and wash it BEFORE putting it into the quilt.

Comments from you all would be welcome.

Written by louisaenright

December 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

One Response

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  1. Wow, that is a sad lesson to learn. I’m wearing a shirt now, upon which I’ve written. It’s a men’s dress shirt, nice smooth cotton, used to be my son’s. I used 3 different colors of Sharpie fine point pens on it. One faded enough with one washing I’m not sure what color it was. The green is in pretty good shape, and the red is smudgy. (Don’t worry that I ruined the shirt by writing on it. I’d already cut the cuffs off.)

    Melanie McNeil

    December 1, 2016 at 10:50 pm


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