You might have seen a lot of tarot readers wrap their tarot cards with silk. They represent about 25% of tarot readers. ( at least among the ones I know haha)
Heck, you might have a habit of doing it yourself!
But have you ever wondered why silk is used so extensively in tarot?
Well, in this article, that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about.
But before that, let’s take a quick look at the history of the use of silk for various purposes that will give us some hindsight about why we use silk for tarot cards.
If you’ve ever studied ancient cultures, traditions, or civilizations, you will notice a common theme.
You will notice that silk has always been regarded as a highly valuable fabric due to its luxurious feel and elegant appearance.
Whenever you hold a piece of silk cloth in your hand, you can’t help but get that “lavish” feel.
But how did silk gain prominence across so many different cultures?
Well, there is an interesting story behind it.
According to a famous legend, silk was first discovered five thousand years ago when a Chinese Empress, Xi Ling-Shi, decided to drink some tea.
Nothing spectacular of course, but the thing is she did it under a mulberry tree.
A silkworm’s cocoon fell into her cup, which grabbed her attention.
When she took out the worm from her cup, she observed the long fibers of the cocoon and decided to weave it. Thus, silk was discovered.
From there, silk production quickly spread throughout China, with the secret of its production closely guarded by the Chinese for thousands of years.
Due to its versatility and elegance, the Chinese used silk not only for clothing but also for valuable items such as carpets, tapestries, and even currency.
Silk was so valuable that it was often used as a form of payment or tribute, and was highly prized by royalty and the wealthy.
Eventually, silk spread throughout the world via the Silk Road (the very name comes from the fabric!). Countries like India and Persia quickly began producing their own silk fabrics and its use for valuable things continued.
By the middle ages, silk had already spread throughout Europe and was playing an important role in trade and commerce.
In the modern world, silk is still considered a valuable and prized fabric even though there are many other types of fabrics available readily. Silk is widely used for clothing, bedding, home decor, and so on.
A lot of people don’t know this, but silk comes in many different varieties, each with its own qualities and characteristics.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular types of silk.
This is perhaps the most common variety of silk.
It is produced by silkworms that feed on mulberry leaves.
And as mentioned above, it happens to be the first variety of silk to be discovered. Mulberry silk is quite popular for its smooth texture and soft feel. It is used for bedding, pillowcases, sheets, and comforters.
This is produced by silkworms that feed on oak and juniper leaves.
It has more muted and earthy colors than mulberry silk and has a coarser texture as well. It is widely used for traditional Indian garments and sarees.
This type of silk is produced by silkworms that feed on castor leaves. Its texture is somewhere between that of mulberry silk and tussar silk. Eri silk has a naturally light tan color and a matte finish. It is used to make scarves and shawls.
The silkworms that produce this type of silk feed on the leaves of Som trees. It has a natural golden-yellow color and is known for its lustrous sheen. It is often used to make sarees and dress materials.
This silk is a very popular variety of silk that is produced by spiders.
As such, it is not surprising that it is quite strong and elastic in nature. However, since harvesting spider silk is very difficult and expensive, it is not used for textiles. Instead, scientists have used it in many areas such as musical instruments ( violin strings), medicine ( bandages), and Internet ( optical fiber cables) .
This is an interesting variety of silk. The word “ahimsa” means non-violence.
So, this type of silk is produced without harming the silkworms.
As such, it is considered a much more ethical alternative to traditional silk.
Why Do We Wrap Tarot Cards With Silk
Now that we have gone through the history and types of silk, let’s take a look at why you should wrap your tarot cards with this amazing fabric.
Silk protects your cards in two ways.
First, it is a soft and gentle fabric that does not cause any damage to your cards.
This makes it the perfect material to wrap your tarot cards with. It serves as a protective cloth against dust, dirt, moisture, and other elements of nature.
Secondly, silk is also said to protect objects from negative energy.
Since it has a natural origin, it also has a cleansing effect on objects that are wrapped with it. This is why, historically, precious and holy things were often wrapped in silk. The same is true for tarot cards.
Tarot cards are said to have energy that can be influenced by their surroundings.
Different objects and people can leave their energy imprints on the cards.
However, when you keep your tarot cards wrapped in silk, it is said to help preserve their energy and prevent them from picking up negative or unwanted energy.
I was also taught that silk is also a natural insulator that does not conduct energy, which means that it does not interfere with the energy of the cards.
By keeping your tarot cards wrapped in silk, you can ensure that they retain their energy and are always ready for use.
Throughout history, silk has been widely used for divination practices and spiritual rituals.
As such, spiritual practitioners have believed for a long time that it enhances your intuition and other psychic abilities.
So, if you wrap your tarot cards in silk, some readers say it creates a special connection between you and your cards, which makes you a much more effective tarot reader.
I admit I am still not sure about that but what I know is that, when you touch the silk cloth, it creates a sense of calm and peace.
I really think there is something about this fabric that instantly puts you in a good mood. This, obviously, can help you focus and concentrate on your reading practice. 🙂
Having gone through the history of silk, you must have realized that there is a deep symbolism behind the use of silk for tarot cards.
As it has always been used for precious and holy things, it signifies that your deck is essential and beloved. Also, since it is a costly fiber, that makes your deck stand out even more. 🙂
- Plus, in ancient China, silk was considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
- In India, it was considered a symbol of spirituality and purity.
- In Europe, it was associated with luxury and refinement.
All these qualities add an extra layer of energy and symbolism to your cards.
Ok so personally I dont really use silk for my tarot cards. I don’t have to use silk to show that I respect and love my decks. What matters to me is to store safely my cards in a bag or box with a design I like. Here are the different materials that I used for my cards below…..after the quote haha.
Now, even though silk is a fantastic fiber for your tarot cards, keep in mind it is not compulsory that you use it.
There are many other alternatives to silk that you can use to wrap your cards. Let’s take a look at a few of these below.
Wool is a natural fiber that a lot of tarot readers use to wrap their tarot cards. It is a soft and durable material that has a unique texture. It also has a comforting feel to it.
This makes it a great fiber for your tarot cards if you like this texture 🙂
I don’t use it as I find the fabric not sturdy enough to protect my cards….
Organic cotton is a great alternative to silk for tarot cards. It is soft, durable, and can be ethically sourced if you go for organic cotton. This material is also more affordable than silk, making it a great choice for those on a budget.
( this one is the material I mostly use for my cards)
Not many people use hemp fabric for their tarot cards but it is actually a great choice.
For one, it is a sustainable alternative to silk that is both durable and eco-friendly. It even has antimicrobial properties that can keep your tarot cards free from bacteria and other germs. ( I know some reader like this material, but I find it a bit rough so hemp fabric is a no for me… lol)
If you want the same luxurious and elegant feel as silk, you can go for satin. It has a similar sheen and feel to silk, but is much more affordable. Satin is also durable and easy to clean, making it a great choice for tarot cards but is is expensive…. I don’t think I would be able to spot the difference lol
Velvet is another luxurious fabric you can use for your tarot cards.
It is often used for clothing and upholstery and many tarot readers love to use it for their tarot reading practice. It has a soft, plush texture to it that feels great to the touch. It is also quite durable and easy to clean.
I also like this material. It is soft and durable, let alone the touch of mystery haha 🙂
Linen is a natural fabric that is made from flax fibers. It is soft, durable, and has a unique texture that makes it also a good choice for tarot cards. Linen is also a more sustainable alternative to silk because it requires less water and pesticides to grow.