Preparing a Deck Without Ruining It


> Tarot Forum > Tarot > Talking Tarot



 
Splungeman's Avatar
Splungeman  Splungeman is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 26 Sep 2007
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 740
Splungeman 
Preparing a Deck Without Ruining It


Umbrae mentioned in one of his wonderful forum articles how he prepares his new decks by rubbing each card down the edge of a table in various directions. Apparently this gives the deck a more rugged and aged look by dulling the gloss, loosening up the cards, etc. Since I agree with him that used looking cards are more comfortabe to the sitter than brand-spankin new cards, I would like to do this with my deck.

My problem is that it is my first and only deck at this point, I love it dearly, and don't want to screw it up by doing it wrong. I practiced on some regular playing cards I had and it really messed them up, and not in a good way. If I did to my Tarot cards what I did to those playing cards, the sitter would NOT be made comfortable. Though I think I learned something from that experiment, I'm still not comfortable trying to do it to my Tarot deck without more advice.

So...I was hoping someone (hopefully Umbrae himself will chime in as well since he started me on this road) could go into more detail about exactly how you make your deck look nice and rugged without making it look trashy. Perhaps some pictures of the process itself? Perhaps alternative techniques to Umbrae's?
Top   #1
Grizabella's Avatar
Grizabella  Grizabella is offline
Card Reader/Fortune Teller
 
Join Date: 08 Jul 2004
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 23,358
Grizabella 

Well, first of all, playing cards are different card stock and lamination than most tarot cards. I think tarot cards are sturdier. And once you've done that to the tarot cards, they look pretty rough when you stack them all back together, but after you've shuffled them a little while, they meld back together very nicely again.

I don't think the reason for treating them is that they'll look aged and used a lot. I think it's more to make them easier to handle. The only other way to make them that way is to shuffle and shuffle and shuffle some more. Every spare moment----when watching TV or sitting around anywhere, just shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.
Top   #2
le fey's Avatar
le fey  le fey is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 05 Apr 2006
Location: WV, USA
Posts: 1,747
le fey 

I go the shuffle shuffle shuffle route, to soften them up a bit and to get my hands used to working with them. I never thought about it, but on reflection, I also tend to take each card individually (and admire the pretty pictures), and rub them on my pants leg, sort of buffing them. I don't know that it actually takes the heavy sheen off, but it does seem to get rid of some of that new-card stickiness some decks have.
Top   #3
Alta's Avatar
Alta  Alta is offline
Golden Silvery Dionna
 
Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 27,056
Alta 

I have tried umbrae's method, but a lot more gently than he suggests. Also only on very stiff decks. Like you, I dread ruining my fav decks.

If the problem is the cards 'clumping', use fanning powder, available from stage magician's supply sites.

Marion
Top   #4
sleepingcat's Avatar
sleepingcat  sleepingcat is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 25 Apr 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,202
sleepingcat 

Several weeks of carrying the deck on your person and shuffing as a nervous habit breaks in a deck wonderfully : 3 Less than a month does it.

They turn into suede and satin without being overstressed.

Also a marvlous way to learn the cards.
Top   #5

6 Haunted Days  6 Haunted Days is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Sep 2006
Location: Montpelier, VT USA
Posts: 7,966
6 Haunted Days 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingcat
Several weeks of carrying the deck on your person and shuffing as a nervous habit breaks in a deck wonderfully : 3 Less than a month does it.

They turn into suede and satin without being overstressed.

Also a marvlous way to learn the cards.
Exactly how I do it. And you're right, best breaking in method, ever. You and the deck get deeply bonded, it's hard to put into words, but they become melded with your hands and heart.

On a side note, nervous shuffling helps me keep from my very neurotic nail-biting issue Tarot decks! The next step in nail care!
Top   #6
Master_Margarita's Avatar
Master_Margarita  Master_Margarita is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
Location: Samsara Central
Posts: 2,040
Master_Margarita 

When I get done with using the Umbrae method, my deck will look like a handful of potato chips--it's really appalling--but only for a day. When you shuffle shuffle shuffle the next day, they settle down nicely.

I look at it as tempering the metal of the cards.

M.
Top   #7
Umbrae's Avatar
Umbrae  Umbrae is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
Posts: 8,847
Umbrae 

Quote:
Each card is placed on a table edge and slid abruptly downward, my free hand holding the sliding card flat on the tabletop. This puts an extreme bend on each card. This is done diagonally, horizontally, and vertically from both sides. It removes the stiffness, so cards do not “shoot out” while shuffling. It also breaks down some of the factory gloss reducing the glossy slide factor. This does not shorten the life span of your deck; in fact, it reduces the probability of creased and folded cards. It does help the deck look “used.
Important note: Please try this on one of the spare cards first. USG & Llewellyn (and Lo Scarabeo) decks will work just fine. Some decks, smaller press decks you don’t want to do this with. I’d never do this with a Magic Realist Press decks or Monolith Graphics (although each has their own distinct reasons). Card stock is important, and must be considered. Some decks will ‘crease’, leaving little imperfections - tiny folds or creases, where as doing this with a WCS from USG will only create the bend – which is what you want.

I am actually fairly gentle with the cards. Altough I am putting a bend in both directions (top and bottom) of three axis (L&R – U&D – Diagonals), and the resulting curvature is extreme, I’m gentle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master_Margarita
When I get done with using the Umbrae method, my deck will look like a handful of potato chips--it's really appalling--but only for a day. When you shuffle shuffle shuffle the next day, they settle down nicely.

I look at it as tempering the metal of the cards.

M.
That’s a great way to look at it, by reducing the chances of cards springing out (which in turn can make a card ‘fold’ and getting a BIG crease), breaking your cards in, in this manner, makes a deck easier to use, especially for a sitter. It extends the life of the cards (IMO).

It’s also a great way to bond with your deck and its images.

And the end result is a deck that doesn’t feel Right Out of The Box.

So if you're doing net readings, like...who cares?

But if how a deck feels to a live sitter is important to you...check your cardstock - test it - do it...

Top   #8
Master_Margarita's Avatar
Master_Margarita  Master_Margarita is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
Location: Samsara Central
Posts: 2,040
Master_Margarita 

Umbrae, what is the specific reason that you would not do this with a Magic Realist deck? Don't they use some highfalutin' cardstock? The cards are thin and very flexible OOTB.

Margarita
Top   #9
Umbrae's Avatar
Umbrae  Umbrae is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
Posts: 8,847
Umbrae 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master_Margarita
Umbrae, what is the specific reason that you would not do this with a Magic Realist deck? Don't they use some highfalutin' cardstock? The cards are thin and very flexible OOTB.

Margarita
It's good cardstock, but thin, and does not need to be 'softened'.

Monolith Graphics cardstock on the other hand is cheap and thick. Cards will develop little creases (of course shuffling will eventually cause the same thing).
Top   #10
Elsewhere on the Tarot Forum
Popular Tarot Boards
· Using Tarot Cards
· Talking Tarot
· Tarot Spreads
· Tarot Decks
· Rider-Waite-Smith

Special Interest Boards
· Astrology
· Crystals & Herbs
· Divination
· Lenormand
· Spirituality

Popular Tarot Threads
· Pet Peeves
· Timing of cards
· Interesting tarot pairs
· The Moon as how someone feels
· The World as feelings

More Tarot Threads
· Cards for certain events
· Tarot meanings for health
· List of Tarot Questions
· Can Tarot be Dangerous?
· List of Tarot Myths



Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· Tarot eBooks
· Tarot Card Meanings

Copyright © 1996 - 2022 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us. Advertise with us.