Monday, September 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Even if you're not a dog owner you can appreciate just how cute these doggie raincoats are! The people at I See Spot created these darling raincoats made of oilcloth. I See Spot offers an assortment of "fashion statements for dogs", look for them at your local speciality pet boutiques or visit them online at I See Spot .
Sears, Roebuck and Co. advertised oilcloth as "dainty and durable," a product that "women everywhere are learning to appreciate."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Oilcloth became popular in the 18th century during which it was used as an inexpensive floor and roof covering. The fabric was produced by stretching a linen cloth with a four-sided vertical frame. In order to keep the cloth from becoming brittle and breaking the fabric was coated with a sizing solution and rubbed smooth with a pumice block. Finally the cloth was coated with a mixture of linseed oil and paint pigment.
Although the production of floorcloths originated in England, American artisans soon began manufacturing their own. "Homeowners or professional itinerant sign-painters applied the designs...with a ruler and a compass or with a stencil...these practical, easily refurbished floor coverings increased in popularity in their own rights throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It evolved into oilcloth." (Garvan)
The original techniques of manufacturing oilcloth have become rare and commercially obsolete with the introduction of non-cracking plastics and rotogravure printing process. Nowadays, oilcloth is a printed vinyl bonded and supported with a woven cotton mesh. Many people fondly remember the printed vinyl cloth. Oilcloth has existed in the homes of many people, which is why oilcloth may remind us of fond memories spent with friends and family in the kitchen or dining room where oilcloth's presence is most common. When one thinks of oilcloth they recall the bright colors and lively prints of fruits and florals that have become increasingly popular over the years.
1) Garvan, Beatrice B. Underfoot in America. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, 1977.