Silk vs. Satin for Tarot Storage

Elial Shadowpine

So, I don't want to resurrect old topics but this is something I've googled around and can't find a good answer for. I found some real silk neckerchiefs that were the perfect size and solid colors, which is my preference. Unfortunately, they were recalled because apparently they did not meet standard requirements and were flammable. (Note to self: Keep away from the burning incense.)

There are some that are cheap but are all patterned, and I've seen only one or two that I like. I know myself, and I'm eventually gonna run out of the silk I have. The only thing I can find that is realistically within my price range (I'm a poor witch) is satin.

I know other suggestions are linen, cotton, wooden boxes, velvet, but the fabrics are twitchy from my autism (think a sensory nails on chalkboard feeling) and the boxes are flat out way too expensive. The only commentary I've seen is that satin is not a natural fabric and therefore is unsuitable.

Is that the only reason? I use man-made fibreoptic cat's eye in working a lot; black in particular resonates very well, sometimes better than natural stones. I'm just curious what people think on the matter, and if there's any deeper reason than the fact that satin is man made. If so... well, a lot of my practice is based around will, belief, and intent, and I would hope that the intent of protecting the cards would be enough on its own, even if the material is not natural.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance. :)

(I'll get around to posting an introduction in a bit. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm comfortable saying, because even for paganism, I'm on the side of "weird." :) )


Well, I expect you will get a lot of different answers to this question. I tossed it around for myself as well when I first started seeing the "silk cloth storage" "rule" in some places. As such I was already kind of set in my ways when it came to deck storage. For me, the original box it came in is almost always good enough. And for many of my decks (those which I use most frequently), I've reinforced the box with clear packing tape.

I do have a couple of exceptions; the decks which did not come with a snug-fitting box (the ones that come in a larger box, a book and the deck in an over-sized box - such as the Necronomicon and several others). A couple of those came with bags which I am using, or are in a bag that I already had (well, only had one). A couple of these which didn't come with bags, I just tore off the extra panel sticking out from the side of the box, reinforced the box with tape, and keep the deck in that.

I have no doubt that I would cause some folks apoplexy at the mere thought of how I keep my decks. })

[ETA] I suppose my main point is that you should do what feels right to you. I have considered, and still do, getting a cloth or bag for certain decks - such as those which don't have a good box. If you feel you should have silk, save up & get silk. Especially if you don't like the feel of the other fabrics you've checked on.


I can't honestly see any special reason to stick to "natural" fabrics. Many "professional" bags are lined with satin. But I know what you mean about some fabrics grating on you. I get that way with wool - and that's as natural as it gets !

You can actually find a fair amount of silk fabric on ebay - there is a 6 yard bolt of blue silk up there right now for £4.50, a selection running at £4.99 a yard, a kilogramme of large offcuts for £10 and a lot of scarves. Another good source is fair trade and charity shops.... You can also try silk chiffon.



I might get confused with english words for fabrics, but in french, "satin" is not necessarily made with synthetic fibers, though it is very often the case.

Satin is a "semi shiny" fabric, and while it is true that most of the time you can find cheap satin fabrics made with synthetic, you can also find some made of cotton (or silk, for that matter). Satin made of cotton would probably not give you this "nail on chalkboard" sensation, and it is easy to find. It is on the costly side of the scale for a cotton fabric, but still not as costly as silk.

With cheap acrylic satin fabric, I fear that you would risk having that nasty sensation, I do have it myself, this type of fabric acumulates static electriciy, plus little fibers can get caught in your nail, very nasty sensation. I would stay away from acrylic, the cheapest but also the least attractive, not only can it give you this nasty nail sensation, but also it does not age well with time.

If you want to go for synthetic fabric, I would advise viscose or modal rather than acrylic (viscose is often very nice and soft to the touch.. you can even find viscose made from bamboo, but let's not kid ourselves, even if bamboo viscose comes from natural fiber, the industrial process for making it is not very "green". The result fabric is very nice and soft, though)

An other option is a satin fabric made of cotton mixed with synthetic : would have the advantages of cotton, while being soft and satiny, and cheaper than Cotton Satin.

As for natural being better than synthetic.... that's very personal.

I have often heard that silk is the best choice for wrapping a tarot deck, but I do not believe that to be true.
Silk feels divine, their is no denying that. A tarot pouch or tarot cloth made of silk is a real treat. But cotton is also very good, it is more absorbant and will protect the deck better by absorbing humidity, plus, it is much easier to wash.

I tend to prefer natural fibers myself for my decks, as I prefer to wear natural fibers for my underware, socks etc.... I would not like underware made of acrylic :( but that is very personal !


There are no hard and fast rules; go with what you like. As for "green," there are people who won't wear silk because it involves the killing of the silkworms. To each one's own.

I'm another one who keeps decks in their original boxes as much as possible, but I have a few decks that for one reason or another no longer have boxes; they're wrapped in scarves, but I really need to get or make bags for them. My only reason for wanting something soft or smooth is to keep from roughing up the cards. I do have a few synthetic velvet bags, but I haven't yet applied them to the cards, don't ask me why.

So it's all up to you, and yes, you can probably find some nice material as remnants in stores or online (though you really want to handle them first, I'm sure). And don't worry about being "weird"; we're all very different. :) Good hunting!


I just use whatever is a suitable size "container" that will protect the cards. I use plastic boxes from the Dollar Tree and Walmart when I find some, I crocheted some very basic ones, and I've made some out of stiff felt and put beadwork on them.

I also use Lenormand and Kipper cards and I made spread cloths for them from an old sheet.

It's not necessary to use any one substance for storage, so long as it protects your cards and doesn't let them spill out and get lost or damaged in between readings.


Good point, Griz - anything of mine that didn't come with a box is in a "satin" bag from Dollarama. Nice and smooth, they are. And I am fairly sure they are pure polyester.


There are no hard and fast rules; go with what you like. As for "green," there are people who won't wear silk because it involves the killing of the silkworms. To each one's own.

Ah, you are right !
I knew some people stayed away from silk for ethical reasons, but I though that if was because the silkworms were kept enclosed and exploited, I never realised that the worms were actually killed to harvest the silk (I wa quite ignorant of silk processing techniques) Your post led me to do some internet research, and now I understand the process of silk making better ; so thank you for your enlighting post !

As for Elial's initial question about synthetic material being suitable or not energeticaly (I hope I understood the question right ?) well, once again, different people will have different answers I suppose.
As I said, I tend to spontaneously prefer cotton or other natural fibers, but it is not a hard and fast rule. Some of my decks are kept in their original plastic box, or in obviously synthetic pouches, and I dont worry about that.
What is your instinct telling you ? If the synthetic satin fabric is the only one that you can stand from a "nail grating" point of view, then fine !

Scarlet Woodland

I'm in the "whatever feels right" camp but also tend to lean towards natural fibres where possible; mostly because I work with fabric so synthetic = cheap is hardwired in me.

Quality, viscose dress lining can feel incredibly close to silk, is non-cringey, available in a huge range of colours and very affordable. In the shop where I work it's £2.99/mtr and a good weight at that.

If you decide to hunt down some silk online, avoid anything called "habutai" silk, or anything with a national prefix eg. "Thai silk"... nine times out of ten that's code for polyester :mad: unless it specifically says 100% silk :) The Jewellery Channel often have stunning silk scarves for a snip.

I think it's pretty easy to get multi-packs of drawstring, muslin bags in the US too. I had trouble finding them here without making them myself but there were a lot of US peeps doing them on etsy when I looked. That could be a cheap, natural option and you could always jazz them up by adding beads or stamped designs... or something like embroidery of painting if you have actual artistic skills, unlike me :D

Silk is beautiful, but I'm not entirely sold on the energetic reasoning behind choosing it, considering how it's made.

page of ghosts

I've never used silk or satin for storage, but I think it's good to adapt to one's sensory issues (for me it means see-through synthetics are too cold on the skin and not suitable for clothing for example) and income.

A lot of magical, don't know the exact word, rules/advice? is kinda elitist with a lot of expensive materials that keep out people with lower incomes. I think maybe silk could fall into this as I imagine it's not the cheapest material, but I'm not an expert on fabric prices so don't quote me on that, heh. Could be that there exist a discount silk somewhere. Maybe you could be bothered to rummage through a thrift store and see if they have anything in silk you can cut up for bags?

I'm not sure about why exactly the belief is that natural fabrics are better for storage even though I think most of mine are cotton or something similar. I mostly care about the colour, pattern and feel I get from a fabric and if it matches up with my deck. If there is the issue of energy or vibes from the synthetic fabric maybe you could do a ritual or spell or something to infuse it with you intent? I'm mostly throwing out ideas. Like someone else said I've also seen satin as a sleek fabric surface and I do have some bed sheets made out of cotton in a satin texture. For practical issues I'm sure synthetic satin could work and I don't think it's much worse than other fabrics. But that's just me, I do hope you figure out what's best for you.