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