Tailor chalks are usually very similar, but there are some differentiating factors between them. These are what you should consider before buying the best tailor’s chalk. They include:
The number of pieces per set is important because it shows you the amount of chalk you have at your disposal to work with. In this case, the more the number of pieces per set, the better, and the more you should consider buying that set.
However, it would help if you also considered the price of the set. If the quantity makes it very expensive, you should consider buying multiple smaller sets if cheaper.
The color usually goes hand in hand with quantity because each chalk piece has a single color. Therefore, the more they are in a set, the more the colors that you will get. However, even with sets of 10 pieces, the maximum number of included colors is usually 4.
Remember, the idea here is to create a clearly visible marking, and thus, as long as you get colors that contrast well with your fabrics, the chalk is good. Some sets even come with 3 pieces and, thus, 3 colors, but they still get the job done.
Therefore, you should select chalk colors depending on the fabrics you will be working on and not just the highest colors. For instance, if you are working on black material, ensure that you have a white chalk piece.
Tailor chalks are either made in a triangular or rectangular shape. Triangular pieces have a couple of benefits, such as being comfortable to hold between the thumb and index fingers, which helps make exact markings.
Such a shape also gives you 3 cornered edges to use when making your mark. Although this is one less than in rectangular chalks, 3 sides are quite enough to use interchangeably.
On the other hand, Rectangular pieces are usually bigger in size and last longer than their triangular counterparts. However, they might not be as ergonomic to hold as compared to triangular chalks.
Regardless of the shape, it is important to check that the piece has narrowed or thin sides to make markings that are thinner, more precise, and easier to remove once their purpose is done.
Structurally, tailor chalks come in two types. Some are made of hard clay or chalk, and others are made using wax.
Clay/ chalk piece markings are usually easy to brush off because they create a powdery line that can be dusted off once the job is done. However, even as they are straightforward to apply and remove, this can be a weakness because as you toss and turn the fabric, the marking can quickly come off, requiring remarking.
This is where wax-based chalk does well. It forms sort of a semi-permanent marking that looks like a crayon marking on paper. However, the problem with this is that you may require a hot iron to get rid of it once you are done.
If you are working on a light and smooth fabric and you must refer back to the markings every once in a while, and probably for a few days, chalk/ clay pieces are not the best option because they will brush off very easily.
However, if you want a quick and easily removable mark to last for only a few minutes, chalk/clay-made pieces are the best ones to use.
Plastic containers and carton boxes are the most commonly used packaging containers. Carton boxes are good, especially because most of them separate the pieces inside neatly for safe transportation without breaking.
However, plastic containers are better because they are waterproof. Chalk, especially the one made of clay, or the actual chalk material, can easily become useless once it soaks up water. For this reason, plastic container packaging is beneficial, especially for storage purposes.