Saturday, January 29, 2011

How to make old school oilcloth!

As I poured through pages and pages of oilcloth facts for my books introduction I found this great exert from Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s The American Woman’s Home, or Principles of Domestic Science (1869). The book is classic take on home ec, the famous sisters introduce the vision of the kitchen as the core of the home. With in the book they suggest using oilcloth for such things as shelves, drawers, and room dividers and of course on the floor.

Here's the 411 on how to make old school oilcloth... “To procure a kitchen oilcloth as cheaply as possible, buy cheap tow cloth and fit it to the size and shape of the kitchen. Then have it stretched and nailed to the south side of the barn and, with a brush, cover it with a coat of thin rye plaster. When this is dry, put on a coat of yellow paint and let it dry for a fortnight. Then put on a second coat.” (Harrison, 1972, 126) The handbook suggests that the oilcloth maker let's it dry for 2 months to make it last for years. 

I don't know about you but but since I don't have a barn I think I am good with the ready-made stuff! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

The history of oilcloth!

No. 116. The Standard Textile Products Co.

From an Youngstown Vindicator article dated Feb. 13, 1925
I am spending the day researching the history of oilcloth for my upcoming book, Sewing with Oilcloth, (August, 2011) and I came across this drawing and article written by John Heinl. I thought you would enjoy seeing where oilcloth was manufactured in the early 20th century!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Progress report

The weather outside is seriously dreadful and I am all about hanging out in my bed as much as possible. So, here I am, surrounded with a pile of my favorite craft books, in my favorite jammies, in my super comfy bed!

I've turned in all 20 projects for my book and now I have to write an introduction, with a dedication and acknowledgments. I've been stalling on this part--it kind of makes it all real, so I'm turning to my crafty-crushes to inspire me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ironing Laminated Cotton

I've been working with the new laminated cottons a lot lately and I've picked up some handy tips along the way. I've read about people worried a ironing laminated cotton, but don't fret it can be done if you take the right precautions.

The Basics:
  • Iron on the wrong side whenever possible. 
  • Never let your iron touch the thin layer of BPA and PVC-free plastic. 
  • Use a low temp iron.
  • Skip the steam.  
  • Always use a press cloth. 

A bit more info on the press cloth... I prefer a clean cotton white flour sack tea towel, their large size is wonderful and they are thin enough to see your project through the cotton. If your project sifts out of place you'll be able to see.  I usually use two at a time, one to cover the ironing board and the second one to layer between my project and the iron. Ideally you’ll want to press the laminated cotton from the wrong side of the fabric, but there are times when you’ll need to press on the right side and in this instance using a press cloth is a MUST.