How do the Sulky Transfer Pens work?

The process of heat transferring the colors is accomplished when a hot iron turns the dyed sublimation ink to a gas which penetrates the receiving fabric. Once heated, this ink is permanent. The Sulky Iron-On Transfer Pens are wonderful for making multiple copies of patterns and easily transfer onto fabric, canvas, wood or just about any surface where a hot iron can be used. You can make permanent transfers for fabric painting, original art, applique, embroidery, labeling quilts and clothing, tole painting, needlework, punch needle and more. They work best on light or pastel colored poly-cotton blends.

These pens, which are available in eight colors, do not work at all like a ball point pen which has a continuous flow of ink available at the point. This is a water-based formulation that is contained in the pen.

The pen has a gate valve that only opens with the pressure that is placed on it as you write, pushing the tip up and opening the valve, allowing the ink to flow down and saturate the tip. If more than a light pressure is applied while writing or drawing, this could allow that gate valve to open further than it was intended, causing greater amounts of ink to flow down around the tip.

Also, it is very necessary to keep the cap tightly on the pen when it is not in use to avoid drying out the tip. Once the tip has been allowed to dry completely, it makes it difficult to adequately resaturate the tip.

Shake the pen thoroughly before using, making sure the cap is securely on. When priming the pen, lightly pump it on a scrap of paper and make a few lines on the scrap paper before drawing your design, and when lightly repumping, do so on the scrap paper to be safe.

The tips on the transfer pens can dry out if they are unused for a long period of time or are not tightly capped. If this happens, the tip can be removed by pinching it and pulling it out. Do this carefully and away from anything that could be stained by the ink. Soak tip in warm water for a few minutes, then wrap it in a paper towel and dry it by rolling it vigorously between your fingers. Reinsert tip in pen, press tip down several seconds, repeat until tip is saturated. This alleviates the necessity of constantly pumping the pen to release ink when the tip has dried out.