Ok So I have been reading some posts on how to smoth buttercream. I have seen many posts on using paper towel to smooth it out. Which I though was kinda wierd. To me I would think that pressing the towel to the cake would leave all kinds of little fibers on the cake. I know if u would do that to ffondant it would really pick it up. Air Fibers are another thing .. How does a hobbie baker bake cakes at home without air fibers ending up on fondant? No matter how much you clean I don't think u can get away from this .. can u ?
Before you use the paper towel, the frosting needs to deveolop a crust (you have to use a recipe for crusting buttercream)
then... when you use the paper towel, smoothing with your hands, or a fondant paddle, the paper towel acts like an iron, pressing out all of the small lines and imperfections...
The brand of paper towels you use are just as important as the technique.... Viva paper towels are the only paper towels that I've found that not only won't leave any tiny fibers, but they don't have any patterns in them... so your cake will be nice and smooth!
You tube is a great source for tutorials on how to do this technique!!
I agree on using the viva - bounty does leave fibers and has a pattern. As far as cutting down on "air fibers", I thoroughly dust everything and vacuum really well. Well, I actually clean everything because I know I won't get to again for a few days! My house is never cleaner than just before I start a cake. I also wash everything I'm using for a cake (pans, cutters, etc) because I don't use them that often and worry about dust that may be there. I'm a little OCD though, so that may not be the norm! And with all that, I do still sometimes find fibers from my clothing on fondant. Oh, I also where light color t-shirts to help prevent that - white or light grey.
Here is where I differ from the norm or possibly the majority - I dont let my BC crust before I start smoothing. As soon as I get my BC somewhat smoothed with a spatula, I start with my VIVA towels. It works for me and I dont see little fibers in my cakes. Like the others - clean surfaces really good, sweep, vacuum, etc - I also pick white shirts and a good hair clip. Every now and then I will see a fiber that has landed on the cake and I remove them with a toothpick. Whether you are baking at home or in a bakery - I dont think you will ever cut out all the fibers/dust completely.