Craft Product Review: Letraset Promarkers

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In the world of rubber stamping, markers are a hot topic. Alcohol-based markers (borrowed from the fine artists and illustrators) are away of elevating a plain image into something really impressive. At Winter CHA 2011, I ran across the Letraset brand from the UK. They graciously sent me some Promarkers to review so I could give you the low-down.

Here’s some information that I pulled from the website:

  • Alcohol based, non-toxic, permanent ink
  • Multi surface application: use on paper, card, vellum, acetate, glass, wood, metal and plastic
  • Outstanding tone and vibrancy
  • Colours are transparent and can be overlaid to create a variety of tone and shading effects
  • Ideal for illustrators, students and hobbyists
  • Twin tipped allowing for a variety of strokes within one marker
  • 148 colours available
  • They are also certified non-toxic and conform to standard ASTM D-423. Good to know.
    So first, some swatching:

    The colors are so bright on glossy and standard cardstock!

    As you would expect, the colors are brightest on white, glossy cardstock, but Letraset markers also performed remarkably well on the textured watercolor paper. The colors certainly bled on the canvas, comparable to what you’d experience on fabric.

    Even on the vintage sheet music, the colors are still vibrant.

    I loved the Letraset ink on  vellum- again, so vibrant and crisp! It also performed well on the printed/embossed origami paper. The embossed part acts as a resist, and I really like the effect a lot.
    I did a quick test on which stamping inks would be good to use with Letraset markers- here’s a quick swatch on that, too:

    Using three inks I had on hand.

    The VersaColor pigment pad did well, as did the India Black. The Ancient page smeared quite a bit. For a comprehensive test of what stamp pads work well with alcohol-based markers, read this post by Sharon Harnist on Ellen Hutson’s blog.) But using what I had on hand, I went with the India Ink for the next part- coloring an image.

    Stamp from Uptown Rubber Stamps.

    After coloring with Letraset Promarkers.

    I think this is how most crafters will use alcohol-based markers- for making illustration-grade stamped images for cards, ATC’s , mixed media, etc.  However, I also like to use markers on art-quilts and fabric postcards, so I tried the “tie-dye” trick: laying down some concentric colors and then spritzing with rubbing alcohol. For this I’m looking for a nice bleed while the colors remain vibrant.

    Before, on Claudine Hellmuth's sticky-backed canvas.

    After spritzing with rubbing alcohol.

    I like it. With some stitching, it’ll be a cool little embellishment to a mixed-media piece.
    Now, since it’s hard to get a grasp of some of the pictures, I shot this quick video for you:

    So now if you’re convinced that you need to try out Letraset Markers, I know you want to know the shopping low down. Here it is…

    • Available singly for about $2 USD each
    • Available in 5-color packs, and lots to choose from- brights, autumn colors, skin tones, etc, for between $11-13.00 USD.
    • You can find them on Amazon.com and art supply sites.

    Just to contrast, Copics run about $5 each and are sold in sets of 12. That can get pretty pricey! And while these are not refillable, I have to say that most crafters won’t ever run out- we simply just don’t use markers that often! (Ok, I know some of you are hard-core marker enthusiasts, but really the re-fill option is for professional artists. Just sayin’.)

    Anyway, for the price, you can indulge a little and get a set of 5 to play with for cheaper than a movie. I’d highly recommend them for anyone looking for the versatility and “artsy” effects of an alcohol-based marker (which a very high quality, I might add) but balk at the prices of other, more well-known brands.

    I personally can’t wait to try out some other products by Letraset too….stay informed by checking out their FB page & tell them CraftTestDummies sent you! Stay tuned…

    Love Letraset? Let me know & leave me a comment!

    I hope if you are considering purchasing Letraset Promarkers you’ll use my affiliate links:

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    About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

    Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

    View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

    11 Responses to “Craft Product Review: Letraset Promarkers”

    1. Debbi Glennie Says:

      Hi Jenny,
      fabulous review, glad you enjoyed them – you know how much I love my promarkers. And just to give folks an idea of how long they last – I’ve had the majority of mine for over 2 years now and I use mine on a daily basis, I also teach and demo with them, and I’ve only had to replace my Ivory and Blush
      Debbi
      x

    2. Wendy Fedan Says:

      Definitely good markers for the commercial artist, but fun to see what the crafty diva does with them! Awesome review, Jenny!

    3. Dee in N.H. Says:

      I would so love to try these~! You explained things really well. I just will not spend the money on Copics but these sound do-able! Thanks for the great review!

    4. Sandra Strait Says:

      Excellent review! I absolutely love my Promarkers. My only complaint is that they aren’t so easy to find in the U.S. I’m hoping that will change in the very near future!

    5. inga klaus Says:

      Thank you so much for info … I want markers but it all get so confusing. :) I love the colors.

    6. Robin Says:

      Wonderful review! I love, love, LOVE my ProMarkers. I first saw them on a UK Craft channel, and fell in love with both that wonderful fine bullet tip, and the PRICE! Very quickly collected all the colors, and although I do also use some Copics, I can’t help but think that if I had as many Copics as I do ProMarkers, I would probably have to give up my house!!! Also, Letraset has some wonderful black liners, a set of metallic markers, extra extra fine nibs that you can slip on the bullet side temporarily, and a spankin’ brand new marker that has a brush nib (similar to the Copic nib) called Flexmarkers. Try them and you will NOT be disappointed!!!

    7. Lisa Says:

      I got promarkers, a pack of twenty and have loved themes pieces, but only for a few weeks (almost 1 month) about 8 have gone dry already and have barley been used :(
      so annoying that its the black too .

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