Fabric pens are specially made pens for designing on fabric. Fabric pens can contain ink, dye or paint. They are made so that when material is washed, the colours don't wash out or fade. Fabric pens look similar to markers and work the same way by simply colouring on the fabric. There is nothing to prepare when using fabric pens, simply take off the lid and use them.
Gel fabric pens come in a variety of colour and tip sizes. Think of gel fabric pens like a regular ballpoint pen. You can get fine, medium or large sizes depending on the type of lines you want to make. Fabric pens containing gel are used for small spaces and for writing letters on fabric as opposed to colouring in large spaces. They can also be used for outlining. Many people use gel fabric pens for collecting autographs on items such as jerseys and hats.
Fabric paint pens also come in a multitude of colours. They are used for decorating and designing larger areas. Some fabric paint pens will be flat or seep into the materials, while others will be raised off the material. Paint pens are used like markers to colour and draw on the fabric. There is no need to use a brush when using fabric paint pens.
Fabric pens containing ink are the least popular. The variety of available colours is not as wide and the pens are limited to making thin lines. These types of pens are used mainly for marking fabric for cutting or sewing, as opposed to using them for decorating fabric. Many ink-based fabric pens wash off with water, so after you cut your material you can wash off any ink that is still visible.
In addition to not fading and washing out, another advantage of using fabric pens is that you can use them on both big and small spaces, making both thin and thick lines. Also, you don't have any brushes to clean out like you would by using fabric paint. Most fabric pens are also non toxic, making them safe for children to use.