Are Copic Markers Permanent on Fabric?

Adding colors to your textile piece can be an interesting task, especially if you have the right type of colors with you. A popular choice used by most artists is Copic markers. These colors can be used on fabrics that need to be washed, ironed, or dried. They manage to retain the colors and make up for a super-cute fabric piece.

You can use Copic markers to create some personalized gifts for your friends and family. As it is with marker papers, different types of fabric tend to react in their own way with Copic markers. These markers are of the refillable kind and manufactured by a Japan-based brand named Too Corporation.

Are Copic Markers Permanent on Fabric


One thing that is special about Copic markers is the fact that they are of professional quality. They bring in a smooth application & several brilliant colors that help make your fabric pop up. These colors can easily be blended and layered on the fabric.

Moreover, these markers are streak-free & permanent in nature, making them ideal for creating some amazing artwork. Keep in mind that the final result that you get with Copic markers would vary depending on the fabric type you use, along with the color setting method.

The rule of thumb that you need to remember is that a loose fabric weave would make the ink bleed quicker as opposed to densely woven threads. Given that Copic markers have alcohol-based ink, it is classified as permanent.

However, the color can surely fade or bleed depending on the type of fabric used. Application of the right amount of heat after the coloring part is complete can help the ink adhere better to your fabric.

Ensure that the heat isn’t too much and doesn’t burn the colors. Remember, Copic markers work well with less porous or non-porous surfaces to give off the best and brightest tint with Copic sketch.

What are Copic Markers Made Of?

Copic markers achieve permanency due to the ethanol alcohol-based ink. Most artists confuse that the type of alcohol present in these markers are isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, but it isn’t the same. Moreover, Copic markers are eco-friendly as the nib and ink are refillable, and hence the used product doesn’t have to go to the dump yard.

Cotton is the best fabric that you can use with Copic markers to create Copic sketches. Regardless of the fabric type you use, the key is to select a tightly-weaved one for better color clarity and permanency. The weave of your fabric can be as tight as cotton or even as loose as muslin. It tends to impact the way in which Copic markers ink bleed within the fabric or provide color coverage.

Selecting a loosely-woven fabric might cause difficulty with the coloring process, especially if the marker tip is small.

The Common Fabric Types Used by Artists for Copic Marker

1. Cotton

If you are a beginner artist in need of a fabric that is easy to work with, cotton is the best choice. This fabric can be used for creating t-shirts, dish towels, or decorative pillows. Its tight weaving & durability would allow you to practice the use of these Copic markers with top-notch permanency. It is an inalnsive fabric choice for the use of Copic markers.

2. Muslin

Given how soft muslin is, it is a loose and thin-weave fabric that is a modified version of cotton. Certain muslin fabrics tend to have a loose weaving style that resembles gauze used for medical purposes. This fabric can be difficult to color with the use of Copic markers. The small tip of the marker might get caught within the threads, and even the bleeding of ink can be tough to control.

3. Polyester

Another popular fabric used after cotton is polyester for Copic marker creativity. However, the fabric is durable enough to allow you to color with ease & it feels rougher as compared to cotton. The fabric’s texture modifies the way your final picture looks. Yet, the color coverage can be a bit difficult.

The key is to cut out a rough patch of fabric and practice your Copic sketch on it until you get the hang of it.

4. Linen

If you have ever worn linen fabric, you would know how soft it feels on your body. However, just as soft as it is, its impact on the coloring process with Copic markers involves easy color bleeding.

However, it does help bring in a vintage look and feel to the design with the combination of bright colors and dark colors. This fabric has a tight and small weave which makes the coloring process easier.

Color In the Right Way on Fabric

Whether your Copic marker is permanent on the fabric or not would vary depending on how well you color it. There is a process to using Copic markers on fabric, and here we have outlined and explained the process:

Control Bleeding

Any type of fabric used with Copic markers would bleed to a certain extent. However, you can control the bleeding process by placing a cardboard piece beneath your fabric. This helps keep the ink from seeping through your fabric and then onto the surface below.

Use Light Pressure

If you have ever used markers on any surface, you would have noticed that the bleeding of ink would increase with the pressure. When creating Copic sketches on fabric with Copic markers, make sure you use light pressure yet strong enough to color the surface evenly.

Remember, it is almost impossible to correct any mistake made by Copic markers that is alcohol-based. So, when starting out, make sure you color slowly with the lightest possible pressure.

Avoid Circular Motion

For artists that work with crayons, regular markers, or similar colors, circular motion coloring is a norm for thorough coverage.

However, this rule doesn’t apply to Copic markers. Coloring in this pattern would release more ink on the fabric and eventually cause color bleeding in a massive way. Plus, if your fabric has a loose weave, it might cause the threads to shred. An ideal way to work with Copic markers is to incorporate the flicking motion as the tip lies against your fabric.

Color from Inside to Outside

Remember that Copic marker bleeds, so it is better to start coloring from the inside and slowly work your way towards the outer edge. This helps you have better control and avoid breaking through the edges or the border of the design.

Set the Color on Fabric

Once the final design is completed on your fabric, you must expose it to heat treatment before it is washed. If heat treatment is not done, your colors will bleed out to some extent yet not completely, as alcohol-based marker inks make the stain permanent.

There are 2 methods of applying heat to the designs made with Copic markers.

The first is to use an iron, and the second is to place the fabric inside a dryer. The easiest solution is to place the fabric inside the dryer and let it do the job.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the heat setting should be at medium for a couple of minutes, depending on how thick your fabric is. If you plan on using iron, it is better to practice some caution as it involves directly heat contact with the colored surface.

Before you start ironing the colored area, place a spare piece of fabric on top of the design to avoid any damages. Use medium-heat setting and iron over your picture a few times. Allow the project to cool before you touch it.

So, Are Copic Markers Permanent on Fabric?

To answer your question, yes, Copic markers are permanent on fabric, and they do yield vibrant colors. However, there is a small extent of bleeding that would vary depending on the fabric being used for the process.

Colors that are water-based cannot be classified as permanent markers. Copic markers contain alcohol ink, and hence they qualify as permanent ink when used on fabric. The heat treatment will help reduce the possibility of bleeding to a massive extent and help with even color coverage.


  • Always place cardboard under the fabric before you start coloring with Copic markers
  • Make sure you set the temperature at a medium setting so as not to burn the fabric during the heat setting process

Before starting, test out the colors in a rough piece of the same fabric you plan on using for the project


Q: Will Copic Markers Wash Out of Fabric?

Unless your design has been heat-treated, Copic markers on the fabric can bleed or fade. However, they won’t wash off completely after one cleaning session. To ensure they last longer, make sure you opt for heat treatment using an iron or dryer.

Q: Can You Use Copics on Denim?

In essence, denim is made of cotton, which makes it an ideal material for coloring with Copic markers. Given that they have a closely woven design, it is easier to color and doesn’t bleed as much as other fabrics.

Q: How Do I Permanently Write on Fabric?

The easiest and the best way to write permanently on fabric is to use Copic markers as they contain alcohol-ink, which ensures permanency for the vibrant or basic colors.

Q: Do Copics Work on Canvas?

Yes, Copic markers can be used on canvas. As such, any type of markers that contain alcohol-ink can be used on a canvas to create some uniquely beautiful designs and patterns.

However, the results are a bit different from the ones seen on a piece of paper. So, keep this in mind when using quality ink markers for canvas.

Final Words

Now that you are aware of how Copic markers work on fabric, we hope you can create some pop art and unique designs to add to your art gallery. Make sure you follow these steps to the T, and you will be amazed by the final results in front of you!

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Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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