I don't do cakes as a business, just for friends, family and/or charity. But I still want to produce nice cakes!
I do mostly buttercream, am just venturing into fondant accents. No matter how careful I am, I always end up with lint/hair in my cakes. They're mostly tiny little miniscule fibers, but I can see them if I look close!
I have long hair but I wear it pulled back in a braid when I cook. And I try not to wear fluffy clothes (like sweaters) when I decorate. But I swear... a thread from my shirt always ends up in the cake!
How do you avoid the lint factor?
I've learned that "lint happens." There's not much you can do with it except to try not to work it too much and pick out any lint when you first see it (before you roll over it). I've done a lot of pinching out pieces of lint, too.
Yes, I agree, this can be so frustrating. I work strictly with fondant so I go through this daily. Here are some tips that might help you.
Wear a white apron and, or. white garments when working with fondant. I wear white t-shirts (Hanes men's) and a white apron over that. Dark clothing will 'shed' onto the fondant. Learned this from experience! I also wear hairnets.
Wipe your rolling pin and work surface down just before you start. Use a damp paper towel and be sure to wipe dry.
Clear your surrounding work area as well.
Don't knead your fondant too much, and never leave it exposed. It will collect dust very quickly and also dry out.
Work in an area away from your a/c-heating vents. This is the worst culprit. Also, stay away from the intake ducts. Dust is constantly circulating in and around the ducts and onto your fondant if it's anywhere near one of these.
Try to discharge any static electricity. Once I've rolled out my fondant, I go over it with a fondant smoother before I place it on the cake. Sometimes this friction can static which will attract dust and lint in the air around you when it's really dry, especially during the winter.
Hope that helps. It's never going to be completely dust and lint free, but these tips will help you get it as good as it can get.
Wash your hands as many times need be; wear gloves and avoid wool, black and synthetic clothing!
Don't wear clothes that the fibers can come off..... clean area well, which I'm sure you are doing...