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What is "Oilcloth" - Definition & Explanation

Oilcloth was, traditionally, heavy cotton or linen cloth with a linseed oil coating: it was semi-waterproof. The most familiar use was for brightly printed kitchen tablecloths. Dull-colored oilcloth was used for bedrolls, sou'westers, and tents. By the late 1950s, oilcloth became a synonym for vinyl (polyvinyl chloride) bonded to either a flanneled cloth or a printed vinyl with a synthetic non-woven backing.
A general term for any oil coated fabric.
Oilcloth was, traditionally, heavy cotton or linen cloth with a linseed oil coating: it was semi-water-proof. The most familiar use was for brightly printed kitchen tablecloths. Dull colored oilcloth was used for bedrolls, sou'westers, and tents. By the late 1950's, oilcloth became a synonym for vinyl (polyvinyl chloride) bonded to a flanneled cloth.
Originally, textiles such as cotton were coated in oil to create resistance to moisture. Now, resins from plastics are used instead of oil. Olefin is a very versatile fiber with excellent flexibility. In the past, oilcloth was used for waterproof garments. Oilcloth is another historical fabric that has been replaced by synthetics and more modern fabrics.
Cloth treated with oil or paint and used for table and shelf coverings.

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