March of the Tools: Magic for dark fabrics

My series of March of the Tools posts continues today with yet more fabric marking options. For all other fabrics then do first try the magic pens of the last post, but for very dark fabrics, which are so often what I gravitate toward when dressmaking, I use this chalk wheel (in fact I love it so much that I sent one to prolific dressmaker, Jane, last week as a thank you for something that I'll hopefully blog about very soon). At the top there is a refillable cartridge of white powdery chalk and at the opposite end there is a wheel. To create marks on the fabric you simply run the wheel over your fabric and the crispest of white lines is left behind.

And because the chalk is so powdery it seems to rub away more reliably than some chalk pens, which I've found can be prone to snapping or produce thick, ugly lines.

It shows up well on patterned fabrics too. The only fabric that I wouldn't use the chalk wheel on would be a very fine, gauzy fabric where I'd worry that the teeth on the wheel might damage the fabric. I buy my chalk wheels locally, but if you're interested in acquiring one of these wonderful wheels, simply type 'Prym chalk wheel' into Google and it should come up with plenty of online stockists.

I'm now off to work on something secret that I'll hopefully share with you next week (it's only a secret to be kept from the recipient, but I don't believe the person reads my blog, so I think it's safe to be indiscreet next week).

Wishing you a happy weekend,
Florence x

Ps. No, I have absolutely NO idea what strange thing I might have been up to that would cause this chalk wheel to have such badly scratched plastic near the ends. It's like that on both sides. I've narrowed it down to three possible causes:

a) The scratches were acquired in a fit of dressmaking rage that was so traumatic that I've had to block it out - which would explain why I can't remember this happening.
b) A feral creature has been in my desk drawer frantically scratting away to try and extract some chalk to satisfy a craving and perhaps also the desire to go for a spin on the actual wheel on the device.
c) I might have trapped it in the drawer at some point as I went to close it.

Option C seems like the most logical explanation. But possibly the most dull.


  1. maybe the edge of a ruler when marking straight lines?

  2. i use end-slivers of ivory soap on everything except really light fabric. probably not as awesome as things actually intended for sewing, but (practically) free!

  3. I love these "tool "posts" as I love good tools" Thanks Florence!

  4. Thank you again for the fantastic chalk wheel Florence. I can vouch that it's the perfect tool for marking dark fabrics with a thin, crisp line. I've been playing with it virtually non-stop since I received it! x

  5. I personally like Option A :)

  6. I can't focus on your magic chalk wheel - all I can see is Little Honey in Ink!

    As you know I have had the wanties for this fabric for the longest time, and have still not succumbed. I hope it's as lovely in real life as I imagine!

  7. Te chalk wheel and teh pens in your last post look brilliant Flrence. I agree that the turquoise 'disappears when wet' pens are tricky. I have had odd cream marks left behind, or magically reappear.

    Also I have noticed before that you casually refer to being able to buy all these lovely bits of sewing kit locally (fabric too I think) How lucky are you? Although I can call in at John Lewis fairly easily I have nothing but the most basic stuff locally.

  8. I'm so going to have to remember to look this tool up. I use a couple of fabric markers but they do not work so well on patterned fabric. Hopefully I can find one of these around where I live.

  9. My chalk wheel has exactly the same marks at the tip. I t took a while to realise but I think it occurred when used in conjunction with a ruler. Perhaps that may be where your marks came from?

    Thank you for the tip about the heat vanishing pens. Brilliant! I think you should have worked up some sort of commission arrangement with them as I hoped over to Amazon immediately and bought a set. I wonder how many other people did too.

  10. Nancy - it is indeed very lovely...but it doesn't actually make my heart beat faster like some of her prints do (that sounds negative - it really is lovely and definitely worth having some!).

    You are completely right - I can see now that the marks definitely do come fromm running it alongside a ruler - so no dressmaking rage...


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Florence x