OTHER GOOD STUFF
A RECIPE FOR MAKING EPHRAIM'S OILCLOTH:
Modern Recipe (Thanks to Jack Cox): This recipe is not authentic but produces the same look and feel as the original methods. It is a good one because it uses safe materials.
Wallpaper sizing. Get it pre-mixed and ready to use.
Flat black or semi-gloss interior latex paint
Boiled linseed oil
Mineral Spirits paint thinner
(All are available at any good paint store.)
Using a roller, paint both sides of the cloth with the wallpaper sizing and let it dry. It should take an hour or less.
Using a roller, paint one side of the cloth with the black latex paint. Let it dry overnight.
Mix 2 parts mineral spirits with 1 part boiled linseed oil. Add Japan dryer. Use 1 oz. (2 tablespoons) per pint of paint.
With a brush, paint the linseed oil mix on the side NOT painted with latex. Let it dry. This may take several days, depending on temperature and humidity. It's NOT wise to let it dry in the house.
Paint on two additional coats of the linseed oil mix. Let it dry between coats.
(NOTE: If you want to see a good re-enactment of making pioneer oilcloth, there is a segment in a video called "Pioneering" [The Long Hunter Series], Vol. One (1994) by American Pioneer Video, P.O. Box 50049, Bowling Green, KY 50049. 1-800-743-4675. I found it in my local library through inter-library loan.)