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Frequently Asked Questions

Safety Questions

Are your products non-toxic and safe?
My family has allergies and/or severe allergy concerns. 
I would like to know if you can tell me the ingredients in your products.
Why can’t I access your MSDS information online? 
How can I obtain Materials Safety Data Sheets – MSDS for your products?
Do your lip balm products contain gluten?
Does your company use latex gloves in its assembly process for Creativity for Kids kits?
Is there latex found in your Faber-Castell Crayons, Oil Pastels or Watercolor Pencils?
Are peanut or nut oils used in childrens oil pastels and watercolor pencils?
Are peanut or nut oils used in any of your crayons for children?

Questions by Brand

Art & Graphic

What degree of lead hardness is equivalent to a No. 2 pencil?

Does the industry have a standard graphite/clay mixture to define what level of hardness is for each grade?

How is lead hardness determined?

Can I use an electric sharpener when working with Faber-Castell pencils?

What do the stars on my art supplies indicate?

What does the lightfast rating mean?

How many colors have the 100 + Years lightfast rating? (Tested Under Museum Conditions)

How does Faber-Castell evaluate lightfastness?

Do other brands utilize the same standard?

What are the Polychromos Color Pencils made of?

In the description for the Faber-Castell pencils it says SV Bonded and my Faber-Castell
pencil says SV on it. What does SV stand for?


What are the Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils made of?

Are the PITT artist pens refillable?

Can I use PITT artist pens with acrylic paints?

Can you achieve gradients with the PITT artist pens?

Is the ink in the PITT artist pen permanent?

Are there any harmful pigments used?

Are all of the art products you offer suitable for children's use?

How should I store my PITT artist pens when they are not being used?

Fine Writing

My writing instrument has a problem, but it is not a Faber-Castell product.  Do you repair other brands?

The cord is too bulky to go through the clasp in the first part of the directions 

What percentage of beeswax is found in your Beeswax Crayons?


Are your products non-toxic and safe?
All of our products have been certified non-toxic by a board-certified toxicologist and are safe to work with when used as intended. Our products undergo a series of tests and meet or exceed the safety regulations for toys and children’s articles as required by the U.S. Product Safety Commission. As a leading manufacturer of children’s creative activities and art products, safety is of the utmost importance to us.  Visit our Quality & Safety page for additional information.

My family has allergies and/or severe allergy concerns.  I would like to know if you can tell me the ingredients in your products.
As with any allergy concern, if you are not sure if a product contains materials that your family is allergic to, we recommend not using the product. If you do not locate the answer to your question in this section for details regarding specific Faber-Castell ingredients, please contact us at consumer@fabercastell.com.

Why can’t I access your MSDS information online?
Due to proprietary information we are not able to publish our MSDS information on our website.

How can I obtain Materials Safety Data Sheets – MSDS for your products?
We generally do not provide MSDS information to the public. We do supply physicians and school nurses with this information. If you would like to request an MSDS for our products, please contact us at msds@fabercastell.com with the details of your request.

Do your lip balm products contain gluten?
Our Make Your Own Lip Balm products  contain components that are gluten-free.

Does your company use latex gloves in its assembly process for Creativity for Kids kits?
Our manufacturing facilities use latex-free gloves while assembling Creativity for Kids creative activity kits.

Is there latex found in your Faber-Castell Crayons, Oil Pastels or Watercolor Pencils?
The Faber-Castell Premium Children’s Art Products listed above do not contain latex.

Are peanut or nut oils used in childrens oil pastels and watercolor pencils?
The Faber-Castell Premium Childrens Oil Pastels and Watercolor Pencils do not contain any peanut or nut based oils.

Are peanut or nut oils used in any of your crayons for children?
Faber-Castell does not use peanut or nut based oils or components in any of the Premium Children’s Crayon products.

What degree of lead hardness is equivalent to a No. 2 pencil?
The equivalence to a No.2 is a degree B.  

Does the industry have a standard graphite/clay mixture to define what level of hardness is for each grade?
There is no international industry standard for the grade of hardness. This gives every pencil manufacturer the possibility to define the hardness of each grade rather individually.

How is lead hardness determined?
The lead's hardness is determined by the mixing ratio of graphite and clay.  The greater the graphite content, the softer and blacker the lead.  The greater the clay content, the harder and less black the lead.  Castell 9000 Pencils are offered in 16 degrees of lead hardness.  6H to 8B.  The higher the number in an H, the lighter the mark and the higher number in a B, the softer and darker it will be.

Can I use an electric sharpener when working with Faber-Castell pencils?
We do not recommend using an electric sharpener.  We recommend using hand held sharpeners such as the GRIP Trio Sharpener or the Double Hole Metal Sharpener for best results.  They contain both a sharp as well as blunt angled sharpening blade. The angle and sharpness of the blade is very important when sharpening a pencil.

What do the stars on my art supplies indicate?
Faber-Castell indicates lightfastness ratings on the majority of our pencils and pens.  We use a star icon to indicate lightfastness.  The lightfastness is indicated on each as follows: *** = Maximum light-fastness = 7 ,8 Blue Wool Scale; ** = Very good light-fastness = 5, 6 Blue Wool Scale; * = Good light-fastness = 3, 4 Blue Wool Scale

What does the lightfast rating mean?
The lightfast rating indicates the items resistance to fading.  *** = Maximum fade resistance (100 + years) (Tested Under Museum Conditions); ** = Very Good fade resistance (25 + years); * = Good fade resistance (5 + years)

How many colors have the 100 + Years lightfast rating? (Tested Under Museum Conditions)
100 of 120 Polychromos Color Pencils and 64 of 120 Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils will last more than 100 years.

How does Faber-Castell evaluate lightfastness?
Faber-Castell uses the Blue Wool standard to evaluate lightfastness.  This standard utilizes eight scales to evaluate lightfast colors and it has been used for Artist paints for many years.  It is tested under museum conditions. The Blue Wool test standard is comparable to ASTM D 5383-02 and ASTM D5383-97.  The Blue Wool standard relates to our star icons as follows: *** = 7, 8 Blue Wool Scale (Tested Under Museum Conditions); ** = 5, 6 Blue Wool Scale (Tested Under Museum Conditions); * = 3, 4 Blue Wool Scale (Tested Under Museum Conditions)

Do other brands utilize the same standard?
Prismacolor, Derwent and Van Gogh have embraced a new lightfastness standard developed in conjunction with The Color Pencil Society.  This standard is called ASTM D 6901.  This standard is not as precise as the Blue Wool method and only has two scales to evaluate lightfast colors.  It relates to our star icons as follows: I = ***, II = ** and *.

What are the Polychromos Color Pencils made of?
The Polychromos Color Pencils are comprised of vegetable oil, wax and the highest quality pigments with superior lightfastness characteristics and brilliance.  There are minimal amounts of wax used so that there is no waxy bloom produced.

In the description for the Faber-Castell pencils it says SV Bonded and my Faber-Castell pencil says SV on it. What does SV stand for?
SV stands for the German word "Sekuralverfahren" meaning "secural bonding" or secure-all bonding. SV Bonding is a process of gluing the full length of the lead to the wood casing of the pencil. This strengthens the lead and prevents breakage which allows for better sharpening, and produces a fine point. SV Bonding is a Faber-Castell trademark.  

What are the Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils made of?
The Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils are comprised of the highest quality pigments with superior lightfastness characteristics and water-soluble binders.

Are the PITT artist pens refillable?
The Faber-Castell PITT artist pens are not refillable. They are disposable pens.  

Can I use PITT artist pens with acrylic paints?
Yes they can be used with acrylic paints but acrylic backgrounds may alter the original pen color.

Can you achieve gradients with the PITT artist pens?
Yes the pigmented inks dry quickly and you can layer them to create gradients, even light colors on dark colors to some degree. Because we use the same color matching system throughout the product range you can also mix color pencils or soft pastels and create even more variations.

Is the ink in the PITT artist pen permanent?
Yes we use pigmented India Ink. The Faber-Castell PITT artist pens are extremely fade-resistant, smudge proof and waterproof when dry.  They are also acid-free and archival.

Are there any harmful pigments used?

Faber-Castell does not use any harmful pigments.  All products are certified non-toxic by a board certified toxicologist.  For example: There is not actually “cadmium” in the cadmium colors such as cadmium yellow lemon.

Are all of the art products you offer suitable for children's use?
Although our products are non-toxic and safe to use, the Art & Graphic range of products are not tested for children’s use.  They are marketed to ages 12 and up.  Our Premium Children’s Art Products are designed, tested for, and marketed to parents of children ages 3 and up.

How should I store my PITT artist pens when they are not being used?
The pens should be stored horizontally when not in use.  Be sure to close the cap securely.  Do not store in direct heat or sunlight.

My writing instrument has a problem, but it is not a Faber-Castell product.  Do you repair other brands?
We are able to assist you with Graf von Faber-Castell and Faber-Castell writing instruments only.  

My writing instrument has a problem, where can I send it for repair?
Please visit our Repair Services page for this information.

I am interested in switching a part on my pen, do you sell spare parts?
Please visit our Nib Exchange page for this information.

Does the e-motion come with a smaller size lead?
The e-motion pencils are currently available in 1.4mm only.  The pencil will not accept another size lead and is filled one lead at a time.  Up to six spare leads may be stored in the side chambers of the mechanism which is located under the front piece.  If you need assistance with refilling this pencil, please see our Refill Instructions page to download the instructions. 

Can I use a converter in the BASIC and LOOM fountain pens?
Yes, the pens accept the Faber-Castell Design converter item #148785.  If you find that this converter is not fitting into the BASIC pen you have there, it is due to a slight design change that took place some time ago.  You  have an older style that will need to be returned for conversion in order to accept the converter.  Please see our Repair Services section for return details.

Will the BASIC Fountain Pens take other international size converters by other companies?
The pens will not allow all converters, we suggest for the correct size using the Design Fountain Pen Converter only.

I have a Faber-Castell ballpoint pen, can I convert it to make a pencil?
You are not able to convert them.  The mechanics are different and this is not possible.  If it were possible, it would also void any warranty for the product.

How can I identify the item number of the refill my pen came with?
On each pen refill you will find an item number that begins with the numbers 1487--.  If you wish to purchase more refills, enter this item number in the search field to easily find the product on our site.

Can I use a rollerball refill in my ballpoint pen?
The refills are not interchangeable.  

The cap will not stay fastened on my e-motion pen when I'm writing, what is the problem?
Due to the conical shape of the barrel, the e-motion Fountain and Rollerball pens are not designed to post and will not do so 100% of the time. 


Why did my Shrinky Dinks curl up when I baked them?
The Shrinky Dinks will twist and turn as they bake. This is part of the shrinking process. Please be patient and wait long enough for the shapes to flatten themselves back out. If you take them out of the oven too soon, they will remain curled or folded over. Please place them back into the oven and continue baking at the same temperature.  You may then proceed with the next step in the instructions. This will allow the pieces to flatten out and will complete the shrinking process.

Why am I missing a pink sock from my Doodle Socks?
The pink sock is not missing, it is actually located on the front of the package in the clear window.

I’m having difficulty loading the sticker maker refill – can you help?
Please see our YouTube video which provides an overview of loading the refill.

The cord is too bulky to go through the clasp in the first part of the directions for the Color Cord Bracelets, how can I fix this?
We have revised the instructions to correct this issue.  They may be downloaded from the Color Cord Bracelets and Paracord Wristbands product pages. 
 
Are the Gelatos and the Gel Sticks the same thing?
No, they are not.  The Gelatos have a formulation that is uniquely designed to be archival, acid-free and lightfast to best serve paper crafters wanting to preserve their crafts.  Additionally, the Gelatos have an expanded range of 40 mouth-watering colors that offers the crafter a full arsenal.  The creamy, rich colors in the Design Memory Craft line have been hand selected to take the stress out of knowing which color and medium work best with each other.  The colors are selected and developed according to the hot trends so that they not only coordinate with the other pens and pencils in our line, but also with the current selection of papers, ribbons and embellishments that are on the store shelves.

What is the difference between the Stamper's Big Brush Pen and the PITT artist pen?
The individual pens are the same product that  appears in our professional art line. This is a real plus for crafters  working on memory projects and wanting professional lightfast, high end  inks that won't bleed, fade, or change over time.  Design Memory Craft as a line is designed to make it easy to mix and match color palettes and mediums.  This means that the products are packaged in color palettes and mediums  that crafters can choose from for specific projects, knowing that the  mediums and color collections will work together. Research has shown us that this is an important value for crafters who tend to coordinate colors on projects in themes (versus a fine artist needing a more traditional range for landscape etc.).

Are the Gelatos lightfast?
Yes Gelatos Colors are not only lightfast, but also acid-free, odorless and best of all permanent when dry.  While we cannot divulge the exact formula of what the Gelatos are made of,  Gelatos Colors are a creamy, highly pigmented water-soluble medium.

What is the drying time for Gelatos?
Drying time will vary depending on how heavily the Gelatos Colors are applied, if they are used with a medium or water, weather and humidity, etc. You can use a hair dryer to speed the process along if you wish. The best way to tell if the Gelatos Colors are completely dry is to rub your finger over the surface and see if any color rubs off. If no color comes off, then the Gelatos Colors are dry.

Can the Gelatos be used effectively on vellum, permanently?
Gelatos are water-soluble and for that reason, they are not permanent on vellum unless they are blended into a medium such as our Gel Medium, Glaze or Gesso. This however is a wet medium and causes vellum to curl.  We suggest using Stampers Big Brush Pens.  They work excellent, are transparent on vellum and are permanent.
  

Do any of your erasers for children contain latex?
100% of all Faber-Castell Premium Children’s Erasers are PVC and latex-free.

Are the Premium Children’s Art Products acid-free?
Yes, all Faber-Castell Art Products are acid-free.

What percentage of beeswax is found in your Beeswax Crayons?
The information is proprietary and we are not able to provide this detail.