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How to Write on Black Fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

Writing on black fabric may seem a challenging task, but there are several simple ways to do so. For temporary markings, such as lines to cut out for craft projects, dress makers' chalk is ideal and will wipe off easily. For more permanent lettering, craft suppliers offer a wide range of specialist fabric pens which use thick paints that will set on top of the fabric and show up even on black material. However to ensure your lettering will definitely be seen, write in bleach.

Place a sheet of cardboard under the fabric you will be working on to prevent bleach seeping through. Smooth out the fabric and pin onto the cardboard with dressmakers' pins so it will not move or wrinkle while you work on it.

Write your letters on the fabric using dressmakers' chalk so you have an outline to follow and so they will be positioned properly.

Put on rubber gloves. Pour bleach into a bowl. If it is very thick, dilute with just enough water so it will spread smoothly when you make brush strokes.

Dip your brush in the bleach and paint along the chalk lines. Leave the bleach on the fabric until you can see the bleach has lifted the dye from the fabric.

Wash the fabric with clothes washing detergent to remove bleach. If not using a washing machine, keep rubber gloves on while washing by hand.

Tip

Using a brush will give a handwritten crafty look to your text. For a neater outline use letter stencils and brush through them with bleach.

Warning

Bleach may damage some fragile fabrics. Test in a small corner first before starting this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Dressmakers' pins
  • Dressmakers' chalk
  • Cardboard
  • Household bleach
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Brush
  • Washing powder
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About the Author

Mary Stewart has been a news and features journalist since 2000. Her work has appeared in U.K. national newspapers and magazines, including "The Times (of London)," "The Sunday Telegraph," "The Mail on Sunday" and "The Guardian". She has a B.A. in journalism from Napier University.