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Do fabric marker drawings last on shirts?

Fabric markers were used to create the palm tree design on this shirt, which has held up quite well over the last couple of years.
Photo by Julia Hanna

Do fabric marker drawings last on shirts? This depends on how the shirt is washed, but with proper care the designs can last over time. Drawing with fabric markers on a shirt is ideal because this is a budget craft that allows people to create individualized apparel at a low cost. Also, shirts with food stains can be salvaged by drawing a fabric marker illustration over the blemish, which is another budget friendly aspect of this craft. Two years ago this palm tree drawing was created on a purple shirt pictured here, which had a stain on it. Fabric markers are ideal of covering up stains on shirts, and the drawings do not have to be complicated.

For the shirt featured here a palm tree silhouette was created with a black fabric marker, which is evocative of a Southern California sunset with the outline of palm trees. Here is what the shirt looked like when it was created two years ago, and it has not faded to much since the time the design was first drawn on the shirt.

So what has ensured the longevity of the palm tree imagery on the shirt? Each time the shirt is washed it is turned inside out and put on the cold, cold cycle. Washing clothes in cold water prolongs the fading of fabrics, even though the purple hue of the shirt is slightly lighter. Faded fabrics can look quite beautiful, and a two plus year old fabric marker image on a shirt looks quite vintage and trendy without spending lots of money. To those who are still worried about how fabric marker images will hold up on shirts over the long run, this shirt is still looking pretty good after two years of wear and washing.

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