Derwent Inktense Pencils

Derwent Inktense Pencils are extremely pigmented and excellent for use on fabric. The colours show up strongly and the pencil form offers a lot of control. Once it’s been set with a hot iron the colour should be permanent. It’s probably a good idea to test the colour-fastness on the specific fabric that you’re using though as results may vary.

I have a box of 72 pencils which includes all of the colours. If I had any complaints it would be that there seems to be a lot of colours that are extremely similar and then chunks of the colour spectrum that are missing. This can be worked around by layering colours over each other to create different hues. IMG_1898.JPG

I’ve been using the pencils to draw a design on the coat I’m currently working on for my uni collection. It’s very time consuming but I’m really happy with the results so far. I trialled a few different approaches and found the easiest way to apply the colour was by dampen the fabric first and then applying the colour. To do this, I used a spray bottle that I purchased from K-Mart for $2 and filled with water. This allowed me to dampen small areas and easily reapply the water as I worked.


The fabric I’m using is 70% wool, 10% cashmere, and 20% polyester. It’s quite a heavy weight coating fabric and is slow to absorb water. This means that I needed to work the pigment and water into the fabric and apply a few layers to achieve a smooth and strong line. I also found that if there was too much water sitting on the surface of the fabric the colour tended to bleed which resulted in fuzzy lines and low pigmentation.


I also combined the drawn design with burnt cutouts which I backed with a dark fabric in a similar weight. I stitched around the cutouts to secure the backing and then continued the stitching lines along the design lines to provide definition and texture.


This is just an example of ways to combine the Inktense pencils with other fabric manipulation techniques. The most important thing is to experiment and have fun creating something unique. I would highly recommend investing in these pencils, they’re extremely versatile (they’re great on paper too) and really easy and enjoyable to work with.


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