Monday, June 8, 2009

Fons & Porter Mechanical Fabric Pencil

For most of my adult life, I have been perpetually searching for two items that are essential to my existence :
  1. a purse that is both functional and stylish
  2. a truly erasable fabric marking tool.
I haven't been so lucky with the purse. But, the Fons and Porter Mechanical Fabric Pencil just may be the marking tool I've been looking for.

Fons & Porter notions are marketed as quilting tools, but garment sewers need to mark fabrics, too! For me, the problem with most marking pencils is the chalky, waxy lead that breaks too easily when sharpened to a fine point. I re-sharpen, only to have it break again. This mechanical pencil has .9mm white leads that make a very fine line. If the lead breaks, simply advance the lead. According to the package, the "strong ceramic 0.9mm white lead is specially formulated for fabric and made from water soluble dyes." 10 white leads are included and graphite refill leads are available separately. The pencil includes an eraser (refill erasers are also available).

I bought the pencil at Jo-Ann. It's also available at several online sources, including the Fons & Porter Website. This pencil costs $12.00 and that is a lot to spend on a marking pencil. But, I'm a sucker for sewing paraphernalia. It does what I want it to do and, for that reason, it's worth the money. However, I recommend waiting for a sale or using Jo-Ann's 40% off coupon.

So far, this pencil is working for me, but as always, I recommend the user test first. I tested this pencil thoroughly and it performed quite well. I tried erasing the line with the eraser provided, using water to wash it out, even ironing over it and then washing it out with plain water. The white line came out in all conditions. The graphite line required mild soap and water, so I imagine it will come out when laundered. This may not be the perfect marking tool, but I think comes pretty darn close.


Click to learn more about my search


  1. Thanks for the review. I'm always on the lookout for a good marking tool. I'm thrilled it's available at JoAnn's.

  2. I have been looking for a good marking pencil and this sounds like what I need. Thanks for the review.

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  4. Cool! I hate those white pencils, too. They're always breaking. I will get one with one of those coupons.

  5. I buy every new marking tool I see also in the hope of finding that perfect mark that will actually disappear when I want it to! This looks like one to use my coupon on.

  6. I too, am always looking for new marking tools. Thank you. I'll be getting one of these soon.

  7. I think you may have found the perfect sewing tool!! Thanks for letting us in.

  8. Too funny, I was away last week end and stopped into a little fabric shop in a small town and bought some goodies :)

    I bought the same marking pencil ($14.95 Cdn)

    I was going to post about it too, great minds think alike ;)

    I wasn't sure how soon I'd get back so I bought the re-fills too. I also bought Fons&Porter Leather Thimbles. Different sizes were available and I got the small and med. They are "very" comfortable.