A Hera marker is the best sewing tool that you’ve never heard of. It is inexpensive, easy to store and can be used with multiple techniques.
What is a hera marker?
A hera marker is a small tool with a sharp curved edge. It is designed to fit in your hand easily (even if you’re left-handed!)
Originally they were made with bone, but now they are made out of plastic. There are a couple of different styles, but they work the same.
How do I use it?
The Hera marker naturally sits in the hand. The curves make it easy to hold and manoeuvre.
Hold in your hand with your pointing finger braced on the top for control. Press onto fabric with a back and forth motion (like a saw). It will leave a clear crease on the fabric.
This is ideal because it does not add anything chemical to the fabric. Sometimes pens, pencils or chalk will leave permanent marks. A hera will solve that problem.
It can be used on both straight and curved lines
What can I use it for?
There are many different uses for it. When you start using it for one thing, you will quickly think of other uses.
Here are five common uses to get you started:
1. Folding fabric
Anytime you need to fold fabric in a certain place, a hera will crease the fabric to make it easy to fold.
This is helpful in hand stitching techniques like traditional pojagi, English paper piecing or appliqué.
It is also helpful with dimensional embroidery like pinch stitch.
Anytime you need to turn back a seam allowance, it is helpful to use a hera to crease the seams before folding them.
Try it instead of pressing for marking a hem!
2. Turn out corners
If you are sewing something (like a pillow) where you stitch a seam and turn it right side out, a hera is helpful to push out the corners.
If you use something too sharp to push out the corners (like a pencil or knitting needle), it can poke right through the fabric and leave a hole. A hera can push out the corner without breaking the fabric.
3. Press seams
Use it to help “finger press” small seams. Some people like to press with their thumbnail. A hera marker can be used in its place.
This helps them open and flatten without an iron.
4. Mark for quilting
If you machine quilt, it is worth purchasing a Hera marker just for this.
After your quilt is layered with a batting and backing, you can mark quilting lines with a hera. The lines won’t damage the quilt top, but can be easily seen for stitching.
It can be used with a ruler for straight lines. The lines will last for quite a while, so you can go ahead and mark the whole quilt top.
Curves lines can be done freehand or with a stencil. A hera is very versatile
5. Make reference marks and notches
If you are cutting out a sewing pattern, you can use a hera to mark reference points like notches.
It can be clearly seen on the fabric, but when the garment is finished it will go away completely.
Things to watch out for
A hera marker works best if it is not on a hard surface. If you mark fabric laying straight on a table it might go through and mark the table.
It is best to use with some kind of padding underneath. Something like an old colouring book, pad of paper or thin foam placemat will work well.
I would love to hear your ideas for using a Hera marker!
Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.