Reported By: Susie Ziegler
Crayola crayons are standard in most homes with kids. My children’s school requires this brand specifically as part of our school supplies. These fabric crayons are part of Crayola’s specialty crayon line. They are formulated so that they will be permanent on fabric after heat setting with an iron. Crayola indicates that their Fabric Crayons have better adhesion with 100% synthetic fabrics. Fabric should be at least 50-60% synthetic for less fading.
Once, I was faced with large swaths of blank areas on an embroidery project. More stitching was necessary, but I was under the wire to get my project finished for a gift and I got the idea to color in the areas with these fabric crayons. The crayons were very inexpensive and easy to find. I colored right onto my fabric and then set the color with my iron and a press cloth. It worked great and grandma got her mermaid pillow just in time for Christmas.
In the two years this little mermaid has been on display at Grandma’s there has been no fading or alterations to the color, even though the fabric is 100% natural cotton. Grandma doesn’t launder that first fabric crayon project, so I got curious about how these fabric crayons will stand up to the laundry.
We tested the product on some squares of synthetic blend white fabric I had at home. My daughter drew pictures right onto the fabric. We also tried drawing onto a separate page and then we heat set all our samples with an iron to set the color.
It was very quick and easy to get started with this project. The only preparation I did was to iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of the fabric to make a better drawing surface. We would have liked to have a larger variety of colors to choose from though. There are only eight basic colors here. The package has no red, but my daughter didn’t care: “I love magenta!” she said. Before heat setting, the wax sort of sits on the surface of the fabric and the color doesn’t quite look right, particularly with the purple and the green. After heat setting, the texture evens out and the color soaks right in. Daughter and I both liked the effect of coloring right onto the fabric better than doing the side drawing on paper and then transferring it.
Here’s what our samples looked like after washing and drying in our regular wash cycle:
I’m pretty impressed! Some fading occurred from the very intense before washing color, but not nearly as much as you might expect. The thick twill in the upper right really held the color well, even though it is 100% cotton. The black crayon especially changed to a stony grey. Magenta got a bit more pink. I’m not sure that this is the best method to use on items you will launder regularly (like napkins or dishtowels) but on less washable things like tote bags or pillows, color away! It would be best to follow the package instructions and wash in cold water then line dry your colored in fabrics. Find some synthetic fabrics for best results with these.
The heat setting is absolutely not a skippable step. We laundered a drawing without ironing it first and it almost completely faded, although not entirely. Use a piece of plain white paper between your drawing and your iron to protect your iron from goo.
- Easy to use. They color just like ordinary high quality crayons
- Readily available
- Only a few colors available: no red!
- Colors look a little murky before setting with iron
- Probably best to use care in the wash
- Synthetic fabrics are preferable (For me this is a con since I am a cotton fabric hoarder.)
I give these crayons an overall score of 8 out of 10, mostly because I want to use more colors. I got my Crayola Fabric Crayons at my local Hobby Lobby, but they are available online at Amazon and many other retailers.