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Warped Cards -- How can I unwarp them?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 16 May 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Rusty Neon  16 May 2003 
I have several tarot decks (mostly U.S. Games products, but also my Grimaud Tarot de Marseille) whose cards are warped. In most cases, the cards were warped even when brand new; and in other cases, they became warped gradually through time. My poor Gill tarot deck's cards are warped in a way that if you place the card flat on a table, one side will be higher than the other three sides.

(1) How can I unwarp these cards, without damaging them?

(2) For the future, how can I store decks so that the cards don't become warped or so that the cards don't become more warped? I store them in their original boxes, without the LWBs, and it doesn't seem to make any difference for warp prevention whether the boxes are stored lying down or standing up. I generally always put the cards in the box with no reversals, i.e., without mixing them up as upright and reversed cards.

(3) Do any others among you seem to have similar warping problems with U.S. Games decks?

Thanks in advance for your input !

Keslynn  16 May 2003 
hey Rusty Neon,
Do you store your decks either in a place that's damp or in direct sunlight (or heat)? Either one of those can warp cards. You should store them in a dry dark place that should preferably be cooler in temperature. One thing to try is to lay the cards out in the bathroom when you're taking a shower. That way, they can soak in some of the steam. This will allow you to straighten them without doing damage to the card. Try putting them between books after the steam treatment.

Hope that helps.

:) Kes 

Rusty Neon  16 May 2003 
hi keslynn ... Thanks for your ideas. Actually, I store the cards in a closed cupboard in my bedroom, far from the bathroom and away from direct sunlight -- but they're still warped. I'd be scared to do a steam treatment on them -- but who knows, it might work. 

ihcoyc  16 May 2003 
It used to be that people kept their decks in a card press to prevent them from bending. You might want to try doing something similar, like putting them in a tight bookcase, and seeing if that will flatten them out. 

jmd  16 May 2003 
There was a thread quite a while back which also discussed this nuisance. If I recall, some of the discussion was more centered on the causes of the warping (moisture content of cardboard and environment, heat, etc) than on its rectification...

I too would recommend simply storing them, occasionally, between large books 

Astraea  17 May 2003 
Here's a link to that earlier thread (mentioned by jmd):

Warping is a frequent problem with cards, and it has more to do with the printing process (relative to the materials used) than storage methods, assuming one takes reasonably good care of one's cards. I have noticed that many of the newer decks, especially those which are produced rapidly and in great numbers, are subject to warping.

I have not found anything that will correct the problem, including placing the cards between heavy books and ironing them (with a towel between the card and the iron, of course). This is because the problem usually originates in manufacturing, which renders the warp "baked in," as it were. My Gill and LS Secret Tarots were hopelessly warped right out of the box, and many others developed the warp within days of unwrapping. 

Ravenswing  17 May 2003 
rusty neon--

this one worked for me....

take a whole bunch of wide rubber bands and make a mummy of your deck...

you can also alternate front-back-front-back.... before you band them.. that way they don' t just warp uniformily.

fly well

HeidiAussie  18 May 2003 
If storage conditions are a concern/issue, what about using silica/silicon(??) to absorb the moisture from the air.
Many womens purses will have a little sachet of this stuff in them to ??????
There is also a type of cats litter that looks similar and may be of use.

Heidi Aussie 

The Warped Cards -- How can I unwarp them? thread was originally posted on 16 May 2003 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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