Which century ?
Oil cloth (roman, medieval to 19thC) made from linseed oil on linen
could be joined by simply sewing it. The oil takes months to cure and
never cures fully, so any closely fitted overlap becomes waterproof as
the oil layers amalgamate. If the oilcloth is older, then fresh oil
would be applied over the patch area first. It helps to recreate old
oil recipes, rather than modern ones (yes, I've been doing just that)
Victorian oilcloths (for clothing and luggage) switched to rubber
compounds. These would be sealed by a separate application of "rubbber
cement", typically something like shaved raw rubber dissolved in
carbon disulphide (unacceptably carcinogenic these days). Evo-stik
528 is neoprene rubber dissolved in a petroleum spirit and a
Some rigid materials might have used gutta percha or even shellac
instead - glued-up hard rubber was a fairly common Victorian plastic,
used for fountain pens, electrical equipment and surgical prostheses.
For waxed cotton, either Barbour's own paste wax, or I use beeswax in
cyclohexane to soak into a "dry" repair (horribly flammable though!)
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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