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Clover Chaco Liner Pen– a review

I’m constantly on the lookout for better marking tools since I feel the ones that are readily available all have their shortcomings  Hence why I was curious to try out Clover Chaco Liner Pen that was recommended to me during my livestream Budget Friendly Sewing Tools.

The Clover Chaco Liner Pen feels like a combo of two common fabric tracing tools; a dressmaker’s tracing pen and a tracing wheel. The pen has a refillable ampule with tailor’s chalk and a tapered and thin wheel tip that allows for very sharp lines. In the photo above I used the pen to assign numbers to almost identical pattern pieces for the Burdastyle skirt I’m making.

The pen is super easy to use and draws much more exact lines than other marking tools I’ve used. Also, it distributes an even amount of chalk, which is something my tracing wheel has a problem with. As for the drawbacks, I found it a little harder to draw exact curves compared to straight lines on the wool fabric, but the sales blurb says  “permits accurate markings for both straight lines for freehand curves”  so perhaps this becomes easier with practice? 

I also tested the pen on shiny workout poly/lycra fabric and it traced well on that type of fabric too.

 

So how does the Clover Chaco Liner Pen compare to a regular chalk wheel and a dressmaker’s pen?

 

From left: Clover Chaco, tracing wheel and dressmaker’s pen. As you can see the lines of the Clover Chako is more even than the tracing wheel and thinner than the pen.

So how easy do they rub off? After a quick dab, the Chako was considerably less visible than the other two.

After a little more rubbing, the difference between the three was pretty negligible, but the Chaco was still the least visible.

 

That the Chaco rubs off quicker could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you want. After serging and handling the skirt pieces the Chaco lines were almost gone, so I had to put some extra light on the fabric to see which numbers I had on each pattern piece. On the other hand, I do appreciate that it is easy to remove since this minimises the risk of making the lines permanent when pressing the fabric with an iron.Eas

So to sum it up:

Pros and cons of the Clover Chaco Liner Pen

Pros

  • Super sharp even lines
  • Very easy to handle
  • Super easy to remove
  • Easier to use for freehand drawing than a regular tracing wheel.

Cons

  • Drafting curves are a little harder compared to a pen, but easier than a chalk wheel.
  • Perhaps wears off too quickly for some applications?

All in all, I think it is better than my old tracing wheel and pen, so probably worth investing in if you are unhappy with your current marker tools.

Clover Chaco Liner Pen  (Amazon affiliate link)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that a commission is earned from qualifying purchases.

11 Comments

  • Leila
    January 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I love my Chaco liner. Here’s a tip for using it: When I use a Chaco liner, I immediately run my finger over the chalk marks to press the loose chalk lightly into the fabric. This helps the chalk stay in place in the fabric rather than brushing off as soon as I move the fabric, and the mark stays visible longer.

    Reply
    • Johanna
      January 15, 2018 at 10:47 am

      What an excellent tip! This would solve my main quibble with the Chaco liner. Thank you!

      Reply
  • Myra
    January 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Great review! My problem with these types of markers is when I’m using them on a softer knit fabric. They seem to wrinkle the fabric without marking the fabric. So I tend to not depend on them because of it. I did purchase a pencil I am testing now and looks like it may work for me. I rather not mention yet just in case it doesn’t work out. If it does, I’ll definitely post for everyone.

    Reply
    • Johanna
      January 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

      I see what you mean, finding good marking tools for knits is tricky! I would agree that a pencil would be a better choice for softer knits, interesting to see how it works for you!

      Reply
  • Susan Campbell
    January 13, 2019 at 3:03 am

    I I had exactly the same problem with blue Chaco liner and white eyelet. It never really came out completely. Now I will just use water soluble marker on white.

    Sue C

    Reply
    • Theresa Overby
      August 19, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      I like the pens that have ink that irons out & store extras in the fridge. I get them from Madame sew & they are called heat erasable pens and refills. I even use them on cross stitch fabrics to make the graph lines for the 10×10 squares, and if I make a mistake on any fabric I just iron it out! I love them!! I can use a stencil or freehand draw lines for hand and/or machine quilting too, and then just iron out and wash. So far I haven’t seen a trace when completed!! 😀

      Reply
  • Bec Pennington
    January 29, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I just used the yellow one on a wedding dress for marking alterations, and it is permanently yellow wherever I marked. It’s showing through seams and causing me real anxiety. I am trying it out on a scrap now to see how to remove it successfully and so far water, vinegar, and baking soda have not touched it. I’m going to try spotting the scrap with detergent and washing next. This is fairly nightmarish.

    Reply
    • Theresa Overby
      August 19, 2021 at 7:56 pm

      If you haven’t tried peroxide or peroxide & baking soda, try that. If there was any trace of oil in the fluid, add a bit of regular Dawn dish soap. Make a slurry of equal parts peroxide & baking soda and scrub it into the fibers of the test fabric. Let it sit in there (covered with Saran Wrap) for at least 24 hours. If this doesn’t work, try visiting a reputable dry cleaner that’s been in business a while. They are usually experts at getting out stains. Take the pen with you. I feel for you! That would be SO frustrating and nerve wracking!! I hope something works!!! 💙

      Reply
  • Julia Medick
    March 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I am surprised your review said that the Chaco Liner removes easily – it does anything but. I recently used the blue liner on a fleece blanket and have tried everything to get it out and it will not come out!! I tried rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water to 2 parts white vinegar, spray-N-wash – nothing works. If you have any suggestions (or anyone out there) on how to get the marks out I would appreciate it, thank!

    Reply
    • Johanna
      March 11, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      Good point, and I should update my review to reflect this. I too have noticed that the blue sticks on certain fabrics (while disappear easily on others). Sorry to hear about the fleece, I think I will contact Chaco about this!

      Reply
    • Theresa Overby
      August 19, 2021 at 7:42 pm

      Try peroxide?

      Reply

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