Thursday, September 22, 2011

Frixion Pens - be aware....

Just recently there has been a flurry of blog posts sharing the revolutionary Frixion Erasable Rollerball Pens by Pilot.  Unlike other erasble pens the ink disappears with friction.  Someone clever put 2 and 2 together and realized that it was the heat from the friction that actually removes the ink.  As quilters all have hot irons and it would make sense that one should be able to write on fabric and "remove" the marks with an iron.  I put "remove" in quotation marks, because it actually doesn't remove it; it just makes it transparent....the ink is actually still present.  So can this pen be safely used for quilting?  I've done a really basic test which I hope you will find helpful.



I have read on the internet that as the ink isn't actually gone that if you exposed the fabric to cold the marks would reappear.  So that's what I did first.  I wrote on a piece of cotton, touched it with an iron to remove the marks and then placed the fabric in the freezer.  As you can see...the marks very clearly came back...



So next I repeated the process and wrote on the fabric, touched it with an iron to remove the marks and then washed it in a normal load of laundry, then ironed it dry and then place it in the freezer...and guess what the marks came back...



Lastly, I wrote on the fabric and then washed it...then dried it with a hot iron removing the last traces of the marks and placed it in the freezer....and look...an almost better result. 


So where does that leave us? 
Well, granted we aren’t all throwing our work in the freezer, but some of us live in a cooler climate and items that might get stored in a loft or basement might be exposed to cooler temperatures and therefore reveal the ink. As you can see, if the ink is touched with a hot iron prior to washing, then it almost heat sets the marks. 

As always… test any pen you might be using in your project...with so many excellent products on the market I think these pens are best left for the crossword puzzle or suduko. :o)

Until next time...

22 comments:

Terry said...

Thanks for the info. I'm sticking with my water soluble marker that I've always used. :0)

*karendianne. said...

Many ladies have been buying these up. This is really good info to spread around.

Frances Arnold said...

Thanks Jane. I saw these pens for the first time at a show this past weekend and wondered about them. They looked almost "too good to be true" and obviously they were!!!

Thimbleanna said...

Thanks for the great test Jane! I was going to order some of these pens. Now I think I won't! ;-)

Christine said...

I don't use any, not even the blue washout pens as I have had those come back many years later.
Thanks for putting this on your blog.

Nancy said...

I saw these on the counter this week at my local quilt shop..."almost" picked one up...glad I didn't...

Anonymous said...

Sure wish I hadn't thrown away that receipt! Thanks for the warning.

pinsandneedles said...

Thanks for your insights on these pens. I will stick to my air or water erasable pens.

YankeeQuilter said...

Great testing! Somewhere your former science teachers are proud!

Rosa said...

I one who bought that pen.Thanks for the test!!

Amanda said...

What a useful test to have done for us all Jane, thank you. I'd not heard of these pens before, but I'll be ready with your advice if I do come across them.

susan said...

Thanks for playing scientist for the rest of us. Much appreciated.

Shirley said...

I had not come across these pens Jane so thanks for the information. I wonder what research is undertaken before these products are marketed.

Katie said...

I actually saw a basket of these pens in a quilt shop today. I've read bad stuff about them too. Thanks for testing them for us! :-)

supermom said...

Yeah, I saw some excited posts when these first came out.

I had wanted to try them for embroidery but decided to stay away from them after seeing some reviews/warnings on embroidery sites.

Jane in Wales said...

Thank you for doing that test. I had not seen these pens, but I will look the other way if I do see them!
Jane

French Knots said...

Thank you for sharing your research, I do a lot of embroidery and had bought these pens but not got round to trying them out. My water soluble pen isn't really fine enough for some of my designs and I hoped these would be a solution - it appears not!

Karen said...

I have not heard of these but thank you for the head's up on how well they'd actually work!

Lynda said...

Thank you so much for this. I've gone back to basics with marking, using either a pencil or tailor's chalk. No nasty chemicals in either of those!

Lesley said...

Hi Jane,thanks for testing these pens and providing the information. I had fallen in love with these and have been using them to mark lines on labels, so now will be a little more cautious about how and where I use them.
Cheers!

mjfla said...

AS with any tool you just need to know what it does. These pens are fine for applique. They have a very fine line that is easy to put down with no bleeding. I like them.
June

Barb said...

thanks for the info!
interesting