Can you tell me how Crayola Coloured Pencils are made?

THE CRAYOLA COLOURED PENCIL STORY 

In 1988, Crayola introduced coloured pencils in their product line to fulfill consumer requests. Today, Crayola markets a variety of colour selections in packages of 8, 12, 24, 36, 50 and our largest selection, the 64 count package. Crayola Coloured Pencils are manufactured in Brazil and Costa Rica due to their high-volume manufacturing capabilities. 

Crayola Coloured Pencils are made from reforested wood. Reforested wood is wood taken from special tree farms grown specifically for gathering wood and are not part of the tropical rain forest. No tropical rain forest wood is used in making Crayola Coloured Pencils. 

The process of making Crayola Coloured Pencils begins in the forest. Seedlings, which are young trees, are planted in fields much like a farmer plants a crop. Seedling crops grow into trees which are eventually used to make wood casings for the pencils. After a number of years, the trees are harvested, cut into even lengths, stacked onto trucks and shipped to the sawmill. Then, a new crop of seedlings is planted to replace those which have been harvested. 

At the sawmill, lumber arriving by the truckload, is stacked in large piles and allowed to dry. Once dry, the lumber is fed into a bark stripping machine which removes all of the bark from each piece of lumber. Next, the lumber goes through a series of milling machines which cuts the lumber into rectangular slats. These slats are about as long as a coloured pencil and about three inches wide. The slats are the building blocks for the production of coloured pencils. 

The slats are then transported to the pencil making plant. Here they are fed into another milling machine which cuts small semicircular grooves at regular intervals down the length of each slat. These grooved slats are now ready to accept a coloured pencil lead. 

In this case, lead is used as a generic term to describe the coloured core of the pencils. Crayola Coloured Pencils have been certified nontoxic by the Art and Creative Material Institute (ACMI) and bear the Approved Product (AP) seal. This seal assures consumers the product meets specific quality standards and contains no known toxic substances in sufficient quantities to be injurious to the human body, even if ingested. 

To make a coloured pencil lead, you need four raw materials: extenders which make up the body of the lead, a binder to hold the ingredients together, pigment which gives each type of coloured pencil its unique colour and water to help uniformly mix all the ingredients. First, the extenders, binders, pigments and water are placed in a large mixer which gently kneads them together into a uniform doughy substance. When the mixing is complete, the contents of the mixer are rolled into flat sheets. Finally, these sheets are machine-pressed into large, long solid cylinder shapes. These shapes are called cartridges. 

Each cartridge, while still damp and pliable, is inserted into another machine called an extrusion press, where it is forced through a small tube. The tube has a diameter equal to that of a coloured pencil lead. As the long rope of wet coloured lead comes out, an automatic slicer cuts it into equal lengths approximately as long as a coloured pencil. Since the leads are still quite moist, they must be dried in large ovens before they become hard enough to insert into the slats. 

To assemble the pencils, half of the grooved slats are fed into a machine which carefully lays a coloured pencil lead into each groove. Then a layer of glue is applied and a second grooved slat is placed on top of the slat holding the lead. Think of this as a pencil sandwich, with each slat acting like a piece of bread and the coloured leads acting like the filling. 

These pencil sandwiches are then bound very tightly together and placed into storage to give the glue time to dry. Once the glue is dry, they are fed into another milling machine which cuts them into individual coloured pencils. Depending on the design of coloured pencils, they are cut into either round or hexagonal shapes. 

Next, the pencils are fed into a machine to be painted. Paint drips down onto an o‑ring, which acts like a small paint brush to coat the pencils with the same colour paint as the coloured lead it contains. The pencils run down a conveyer belt to allow the paint to dry. The painted pencils are then sent to a machine to be automatically sharpened. Finally, brightly coloured finished pencils are packed into boxes which are shipped to neighborhood stores. 

Crayola Coloured Pencils are used by people of all ages for everything from crafts to professional artwork and school projects. Crayola continues to offer assortments which meet our consumers artistic needs.

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Related Questions

Keep designs permanent on fabric and other surfaces when you choose Crayola products with non-washable pigments:

  • Crayola Acrylic Paints 
  • Crayola Fabric Markers
  • Crayola Portfolio Series Acrylic Paint
  • Crayola Take Note! Permanent Markers

Check for availability at your favourite local and online retail stores or at Cray​ola​.ca.

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Crayola products are sold through a network of distributors and retail store locations. If you are not from the United States or Canada, please contact the office located nearest to you:

Country/​RegionCompanyContactWebsite

Africa, Middle East, Russia, South Africa & European countries (not listed separately)

CrayolaLaurent Dubois — LDubois@​Crayola.​com
Asia (if country is not listed separately) 
Crayola

Yvonne Lam — ylchan@​crayola.​com

Money Yap — myap@​crayola.​com

AustraliaCrayola Australia

Cray​ola​.com​.au/​a​b​o​u​t​-​u​s​/​c​o​ntact

1800657353
Cray​ola​.com​.au
Austria
Vivid/​Goliath — Germany Office

Sup​port​.goliathgames​.com/​d​e​u​t​s​c​h​-​g​o​l​iath/

+496103459180

BangladeshCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
Benelux
Crayola Benelux

InfoBenelux@​crayola.​com

+31104596 580

Cray​ola​.be
CambodiaCrayolaRaymond Lau -rlau@​crayola.​com
ChinaCrayola China

June Xu — jxu@​crayola.​com

Cray​ola​.cn
FranceUK QATC

Crayola.fr/a‑propos/contact.aspx

+33 (0) 1 410654 54

Cray​ola​.fr
GermanyVivid/​Goliath — Germany Office

Sup​port​.goliathgames​.com/​d​e​u​t​s​c​h​-​g​o​l​iath/

+496103459180


Hong KongCrayolaAllen Chan -achan@​crayola.​com
IndiaCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
IndonesiaCrayolaRaymond Lau -rlau@​crayola.​com
Ireland
Vivid/​Goliath

Cray​ola​.co​.uk/​a​b​o​u​t​-​u​s​/​c​o​n​t​a​c​t​.aspx

0800389 6238

Cray​ola​.co​.uk

ItalyCrayola Italy
info@​binneysmith.​itCray​ola​.it
JapanCrayola
Allen Chan — achan@​crayola.​comCray​ola​.jp
KoreaCrayolaAllen Chan — achan@​crayola.​com
LaosCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
Latin America: Caribbean, Central America & South America
Crayola

support@​crayola.​com

Lichtenstein
Vivid/​Goliath
Ksenia van der Mijde — k.​vandermijde@​goliathgroup.​com
MalaysiaCrayolaRaymond Lau -rlau@​crayola.​com
MaldivesCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
MexicoCrayola Mexico

Manuel Gonzalez — mgonzalez@​crayola.​com

018007178 222
Cray​ola​.com​.mx
Monaco
UK QATC

Crayola.fr/a‑propos/contact.aspx

+33 (0) 1 410654 54

Cray​ola​.fr
MongoliaCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
MyanmarCrayolaRaymond Lau -rlau@​crayola.​com
NepalCrayolaRaymond Lau -rlau@​crayola.​com
Nordic Region: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden 
Vivid/​Goliath
Ksenia van der Mijde — k.​vandermijde@​goliathgroup.​com
New ZealandCrayola Australia

Cray​ola​.com​.au/​a​b​o​u​t​-​u​s​/​c​o​ntact

1800657 353
Cray​ola​.com​.au
PakistanCrayolaRaymond Lau -rlau@​crayola.​com
PhilippinesCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com

Poland

Vivid/​Goliath
Ksenia van der Mijde — k.​vandermijde@​goliathgroup.​com
PortugalCrayola Italy
info@​binneysmith.​it
SingaporeCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
SpainCrayola Italy
info@​binneysmith.​it
Sri LankaCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
Switzerland
Vivid/​Goliath
Ksenia van der Mijde — k.​vandermijde@​goliathgroup.​com
TaiwanCrayolaAllen Chan -achan@​crayola.​com
ThailandCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
United KingdomVivid/​Goliath UK 

Cray​ola​.co​.uk/​a​b​o​u​t​-​u​s​/​c​o​n​t​a​c​t​.aspx

0800389 6238

Cray​ola​.co​.uk
VietnamCrayolaRaymond Lau — rlau@​crayola.​com
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The powdery deposit you may see on the surface of your Crayola product is called bloom. This occurs naturally and is perfectly safe. 

Bloom appears on Crayola wax-based products, such as crayons and coloured pencils. It occurs when oil contained in the paraffin wax used in these products seeps to the surface and re-crystallizes into a milky powder. You may also see this with sculptures made with Crayola Air-Dry Clay as the product ages or is exposed to varying temperatures and humidity. Rest assured, this process is harmless, and the powdery substance and crystallization do not affect the quality or performance of the product. Remove by gently wiping away with a dry cloth. 


If you have additional questions, we want to hear from you! Feel free to send us an email, call, or text us at 18002729652 on weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time. Text charges may apply. 

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It’s glow time! We have some tips to help you get the best results from Crayola Glow Fusion.

  1. The Glow Fusion technology is a marker-paper system. The paper and marker set combined work together to give your masterpieces up to four hours of glow time. 
  2. Protect your work surfaces. Glow Fusion Markers are not washable. 
  3. When the markers (activated or not) are not in use, cap and lay them flat in the marker tray to prevent leaking. 
  4. For the brightest glow effect, use the markers promptly after activating. 
  5. To activate the markers: 
    • Bend the marker barrel at the star points to crack the glow capsules. 
    • Shake the capped marker for 5 seconds.
    • Remove the cap and hold the marker tip down until it glows. 
  6. Turn off the lights to see your art shine at its brightest! 

Need a visual? 

  • Scan the QR code on the box or check out the video here.

Want to keep the creative fun glowing?

  • Check for Glow Fusion Marker Colouring Sets in the Crayola aisle at retail stores or your favorite online shopping sites. 
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By definition, acid-free is having a pH of 6.5 to 8.0. *Currently, the following Crayola products meet an acid-free” definition, having a pH of 6.5 to 8.0:

  • Crayola Coloured Pencils
  • Crayola Crayons

*Vendor and product ingredients may change and cause a product that was once acid-free to no longer be, and vice versa.

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If you are interested in becoming a licensee, please contact Margot Somerville (Marketing Manager — Crayola Canada) at 9055139753 ext 5203.
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If you like to collect old/​vintage Crayola products, you may wish to look at flea markets, auctions, estate sales and garage sales. More information about older products can be found in a published book titled A Century of Crayola Collectibles — A Price Guide”. This book covers history and products offered through the years. To obtain this book, please visit your local book store. As a further reference, the ISBN is 0875886388 and the author of the book is Bonnie Rushlow.

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If your Crayola Colour Explosion Marker stops working, rub the tip on a clean, dry paper towel. In addition, the marker may be revived by placing it cap down for about one hour.
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