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I have my own store online where I sell alot of handpainted bags and clothing, which I use Dylon fabric paints for - and I have always found the paints to be the best fabric paints out there. I got sick of painting thin lines and decided to purchase a pack of their pens in order to achieve nice neat lines on certain designs - this turned out to be easier to achieve doing it painstakingly with a brush and paint!
The paints retail for around £5 from stores for 5 pens - which to me seems horribly expensive. You dont get a wide range of colours either, just black, red, white, blue, yellow and green. I was hoping for a purple or a pink but they dont seem to do these. The pens themselves are very much like a regular felt tip pen, with a pull off lid and a pointed nib inside.
Upon using the pens I noticed a few problems straight away, the pointed nib makes it very hard to actually draw onto clothing. Drawing onto canvas bags wasnt a problem as the material is quite thick, and doesnt stretch or move. Drawing onto t shirt and other items of clothing however was a different story. the pointy nib is impossible to use on any material that has even the slightest bit of stretch it in. Whats more, the colours are horribly pale and looks a lot like you have just drawn it on with a felt tip pen that is running out. The black in particular is quite pale and scratchy looing.
Overall I wouldnt recommend these pens at all, and if you are looking to customise some of your own clothes then to go for the pots of fabric paint that they do. I find it much easier getting a nice even colour, and even nice thin lines and details using the paints rather than the pens. The only positive side to the pens is that the colour does stay after washing - but then it is supposed to do that anyway.
Dont get them! they're not very good!
About a year ago, I decided the time was right to buy some decent fabric pens so that I could personalise some T-shirts and random clothes. I went to the only place that I knew of at the time that I thought could supply me with some; a local fabric store. Contrary to my beliefs, I wasn't exactly spoilt for choice when I reached my destination. In fact, being quite a small shop, it only supplied one type, and I mean one type only, of fabric pens; Dylon Fabric Painting Brush Pens. They cost just under five pounds, for just five fabric pens (and bear in mind that they were not in the most attractive shades possible; Green, yellow, black, blue and red. Lots of primary colours there, very useful, but as I said, not exactly the most attractive colours when it comes to T-shirt or other items of clothing personalisation. They could have given us more of a variety at least). Looking back, this was a huge amount to pay for a small pack of fabric pens. However, I had these factors which urged me on to buy them:
a) The beforehand mentioned lack of variety of fabric pens available to purchase in the store. I had not yet discovered just how much money you can save in a single Amazon order.
b) The brand name 'Dylon' did sound a little familiar... it sort of rung a bell- I had seen it on packs of esteemed clothing dye after all. Didn't that count for something?
and c) I was thoroughly inexperienced in the matters of fabric pen purchasing, so who was I to know what was a good deal and what was not? Sure, I was a little apprehensive at the price, but I was reminded by the fact that they were not just ordinary pens but pens that you could use on T-shirts without it washing off. For all I knew, a fiver could have been an extremely good offer. I was also in a hurry, and I didn't really want to put up with all the hassle of shopping around.
So in the end I paid the heavy price and went home to try them out on a plain white T-shirt I had bought for quite cheap, one that I didn't mind if something went wrong and I ended up with a messed up T-shirt. In the end, was it worth paying all that money? Well, the simple answer is no.
Why, you say? Well, basically because it was a very ineffective product to use. The nib was like that of a felt tip, with a pointed end. This was also very bendable, and therefore hard to achieve anything light an accurate line. In fact, most of the time, it is the sides of the nib, not the actual tip being used (leaving, as you would expect, not a very pleasant result), so I saw that there was really no point in providing a sharpened tip. This made it hard to produce a decent picture quality at all. The nib point also made a point of easily eroding away and flattening down, leaving an even more unattractive, blunter image. If you have steady, nimble fingers, you may be able to pull these abysmal fabric pens off; if not, then I would say these are not at all suited to general use.
The quality of the ink was altogether very disappointing. The black, I would say, was more pleasant to use than the others, as it was not as watered down and pale. The effect, even on a pale white T-shirt looked overly pale and watered down, as if it was reluctant to give me any type of clarified picture quality at all. I would have thought, with such a disappointing nib, that they would at least take the trouble of supplying the pens with strong, good quality ink. But no.
So, anyway, carrying on despite the bad quality of the pens, I proceeded to iron the fabric, with a cloth over it just in case. Then I washed it in cold water (I was unsure about what hot water inside a washing machine would do to it) for a trial run. Well, good news, the colour of the fabric pen ink remained pretty much as clear and bold as it was before (not very), with no running colours, so I guess that is one positive of the product.
There are now available T-Shirt Graffiti pens which I would recommend more than these ones- they are better and cheaper!
I am thoroughly unimpressed by the standard that Dylon has set for its fabric pens, especially for the quite generous sum I had to pay in order to obtain them. In fact, this has made me reluctant to sample any further Dylon products. To some, with more time, patience and the ability to use over flexible nibs may find this a good product... but for me, this was a thorough waste of money and time. 2 out of 5 dooyoo stars for trying though, and for the pens actually being able to work and not drying out yet (even though I have not used them very frequently). Unfortunately, due to these circumstances, I would not recommend them.
When my daughter was going to a concert recently she wanted to design a T-Shirt with a logo from the cover of her Idol's CD cover and her user name on the fansite so that she could be recognised by other members of the site. She had planned on using permanent markers to make the T-Shirt but that was a bad idea so I ordered her a set of Dylon Fabric Painting Brush Pens for £3.95 from Ebay, the pens are available for a similar price from Amazon.
What I got for my money was a pack of five pens in black, yellow, red, blue and green which you can use to draw designs onto fabric and then seal the colours in using an iron to make them permanent.
The pens look pretty much like thick tipped felt tip pens, you can draw a line of around 2-3 mm thickness by using the tip or turn the pen on its side to get a thicker line or to colour in quickly. The fact that the ink is in a pen rather than paint form makes them extremely easy to use but of course you need to take care as you cannot erase any marks after they have been made on the fabric.
The colours themselves are nice and bright and vibrant, the yellow is surprisingly strong and manages to stand out well on white fabric, the one disappointment is the blue which is a bit paler than I would have liked. Because the ink is in pens there is no way to mix the colours together which would have been nice as the range of colours is fairly limited in this pack.
To set the colours once you have drawn your design you simply put a t towel over your design and iron it on a low heat.
The T-Shirt my daughter designed looks brilliant with the colours really bright, the ink did not fade at all or run into other items when the T-Shirt was washed either which was something I was really worried about. The ink lies flat in the material and doesn't stick out and look puffy like paint might and means the colour wont flake off.
I think these Dylon pens are an ideal gift for an arty older child, just buy them a couple of cheap white T-Shirts from Primark or one of the supermarkets and they will have a great time customising them. You could customise any pale coloured fabric you liked such as T-Towels, pillowcases or even cheap white plimsoles to give yourself an item which stands out from the crowd or would make a nice personalised gift. Because the pens are so easy to use you don't need a massive amount of artistic talent to use them either and the only limit to your design is your imagination.
My nephew wanted to paint a tee-shirt for school and to be honest we had no idea what to use to paint the tee-shirt. It didn't have to be a permanent thing because the shirt was only going to be worn for a school play but he did want to make a half decent job of it. Neither his Mum nor I could figure out how to paint this tee-shirt successfully, we knew that ordinary paints would be useless so I volunteered to surf the internet to see if I could find any advice.
One thing led to another and I ended up on E bay looking at the Dylon Fabric painting brush pens, they were priced at £3.39 for a pack of five different coloured pens and I didn't think that was a bad price if they could do the job.
He had to paint a crest on the front of the tee-shirt so the painting had to be fairly precise. We came to the conclusion that the easiest way to do it was to lay an old sheet over the ironing board and place the front of the tee-shirt on the top of the old sheet and start it off that way.
In the packet of Dylon fabric pens you have a black, red, florescent blue, yellow and green pen and it does say that the pens are to be used on light coloured fabric.
The tee-shirt was white so that was fine. The brush tips of the Dylon fabric pens are shaped so that you can get a decent outline and you draw straight onto the fabric. I would be pretty worried to let very young children use the Dylon fabric pens, I think they would be far too messy.
Our idea worked well, the front of the tee-shirt was slightly stretched over the top of the ironing board and pinned into position and crest was pencilled onto the fabric.
Once the pencilling was done then the Dylon fabric pens could be used. The colours are reasonably strong and when they are being used it reminds me of using an ordinary felt tipped pen. There is a good flow of ink onto the brush tip and the flow stays constant as long as you keep the pen at a good angle.
The crest on the tee-shirt worked out well, it was colourful and the edges were fairly sharp. I have to say that one crest later a couple of the Dylon fabric pens are almost out of ink already, so if you were to use them on a larger project it would work out an expensive venture but on a smaller scale they are acceptable.
If we had wanted to the ink could have been sealed onto the fabric, making it permanent - you do this using a hot iron. The tee-shirt was only going to be worn for a couple of nights so it wasn't necessary in our case.
The Dylon fabric pens are a good idea and for small projects they are the ideal solution. I am sure that the pens will come in useful again at some point in the future.