(reposted from .net)
Fanning Powder FAQ
What is fanning powder?
Fanning Powder is a white substance that is applied to fix the friction between cards. This can help you with fanning, armspreads, aerials as well as any other move where you want the cards to keep together.
The key ingredient of fanning powder is Zinc stearate. There are a bunch of other substances in it as well, but what they are is a well-kept secret and probably differs from brand to brand.
What is the best brand of fanning powder and where do I get it?
Everyone has different preferences. I recommend 'U.F. Grants Fanning Powder'.
Another brand that is widely used is 'Fanning Powder by Murphy's Magic Supplies' and comes in a yellow can.
Try out what works best for you.
You can get fanning powder in almost every magic shop online or offline.
How do I apply fanning powder?
There are a few methods to apply fanning powder.
Do a fan and sprinkle some powder on it. Use your finger to divide the powder a little more. Close the fan and give a few good faro shuffles.
Put some powder on the edges of the deck and faro shuffle till the powder is evenly spread.
With a paper or plastic bag. Spring the cards into the bag, add powder, shake. Take the cards out and and spread the powder with some faro shuffles, just like with the other two methods. You may want to keep the bag for future powdering.
Should I put fanning powder on [insert deck name]?
Fanning Powder works best on broken-in decks with air cushion finish (tiny air bubbles on the faces and backs of the cards) or some similar finish.
Is it a good idea to apply fanning powder to black decks?
Too much fanning powder will turn your black deck into a gray deck. Unfortunately there's little you can do about that other than to use very little powder to minimize the effect.
Is fanning powder good for card magic?
No, fanning powder will make most slight-of-hand more difficult.
How long will a can of fanning powder last?
'It's much more likely for someone to quit than to finish a can'. :p Joking aside, if you don't apply an insane amount of powder than it will probably last you a few years.
Once you start using fanning powder, you'll use it all the time, and you'll loose your ability to fan without it. Right?
This is just not true. This belief comes from magic stores that try to sell fanning powder with advertisements like 'Makes Card Fanning Almost Automatic!'. Fanning powder doesn't fan for you. You still need to know how to fan.
Once you reach a certain level with your fanning skills, you'll be able to get good fans with almost every deck, be it with a new, old or broken-in, unpowdered deck.
Is fanning powder cheating?
Opinions differ on this question. To me, no. Those who don't use fanning powder break the deck in until they reach the point where the deck fans nicely without powder. Thus, they prepare the deck with the moisture/sweat of their hands and the dust in the air. It's hard to determine exactly where cheating begins: Is selecting a good deck for cardistry cheating? (Since it's not ANY ordinary deck) Is ripping the side flaps off for openers cheating (hardly any deck comes without those) ... I hope you get what I mean. After all it comes down to your own morals/ethics to decide whether or not it's cheating and if you want to use it.
Should I keep using fanning powder even though I'm allergic to it?
Hell no. Look after your health and stay away from it.
Additional (personal) thoughts
I use fanning powder. It's cheap, available and can improve a lot of your moves. It also drastically increases the lifespan of your decks (especially if combined with Porper Clips). Using Fanning Powder is the only way to have a deck with a constant feel/condition and I like constant feel/condition.
I don't want to convince anybody to use it, but I think everybody should try it at least once to see if it works for them.
This article was kindly contributed by Nebelfuchs for United Cardists.
(reposted from .net)