I made an impulse buy of Marabu wax pastel crayons at my local arts and crafts store. These lipstick-like markers can be diluted with water or applied thickly for intense color. They are designed primarily for mixed media uses, not for fabric. But…I decided to try them out.
I gathered a variety of fabric scraps for my trials. Most were all cotton. Two were primarily synthetic. I drew letters, scribbled, diluted my lines with water, applied the crayons over dry and wet fabrics, and made rubbings from textured plates. Here’s the results of my first trials before immersing some of them in water.
After 24 hours I soaked my scraps in lukewarm water to test for color fastness and found lots of color loss. Definitely not a product to use on any fabric that will be washed or exposed to water.
However, I liked the feel of using the crayons enough to do further experimentation. I watched a few videos about this product and decided to try smearing, stenciling, and rubbing.
Green silk organza stenciled with Marabu crayon. The crayon is good for stenciling because it doesn’t run (unless you add water.)
Rubbings applied on Pellon 830 with dry crayon, then sprayed with water. I started to outline the shapes in the smaller rubbing with ink. With this technique you’d need to be sparing with the water used, otherwise your design will wash out.
Thick application of crayon on Pellon 830, sprayed with water, then hand rubbed with plate under fabric. I like this effect, though you don’t get much smearing of the crayon on fabric. The videos show lots of smearing on paper.
Heavy scribbles on cotton fabric with water applied lightly by brush. This shows the transparent effects possible with the crayon.
It’s an interesting product for adding lots of intense color to areas, not so good for fine detail drawing. It is literally like drawing with a lipstick.
It is blendable with water, and works well when applied to damp surfaces.
The lack of color fastness is a major drawback for use in working quilts, not so much for display pieces. The manufacturer says it sets up after 24 hours and can’t be reactivated, but I don’t think they plan for full immersion.
It’s probably not the most cost effective product of this type on the market, especially because it spreads so easily you’d (at least I’d) be tempted to use lots at a time. I believe it’s comparable to Gelato crayon markers.
Will I buy more? Probably not, unless the price is deeply discounted. The price I paid was about $2.50 a marker.
If you’ve tried this product I’d love to hear about your experiences.