What did tents used to be waterproofed with before fandom?

Was there a natural product? Or was there a generic product?
TIA
Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@o2.co.uk wrote:

They were not waterproofed at all.
You had a fly sheet made of waxed cotton.
That was stretched over the tent to keep the rain off.
The tent itself was unwaxed top allow it to breathe.

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Yet you still got condensation and it ran down the inside...
Brian
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In article

I remember a looooong time ago waterproofing some clothing by soaking in a solution of epsom salts. Don't remember how effective it was though.

John
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On 9/29/2012 4:24 AM, JTM wrote:

Waterproofing? I've heard of epsom salts being used for fireproofing.
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snipped-for-privacy@o2.co.uk wrote:

GNU, Fabsil etc. There were a number of such products I used in the 60's
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After serious thinking snipped-for-privacy@o2.co.uk wrote :

Some used nothing, just bare cotton canvas which would swell up when wet and self seal - providing you didn't touch it, the water would run off. Later came waxed cotton, then spray on water proofing solutions.
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Ventile is still going, and despite its cost it's still being used for tents for polar regions.
http://www.ventile.co.uk /
| Ventile, originally designed in the UK, is densely woven from 100% | cotton using the world’s finest long staple fibre.
| Ventile is not coated or laminated yet the combination of the dense | weave and the swelling properties of the fibres when wet provide | excellent weatherproofing.
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Alan J. Wylie http://www.wylie.me.uk /

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On Sep 29, 11:02am, Harry Bloomfield

Yep, that's pretty much my experience. It's why you had to pitch the tent taut, hence all those "best pitched tent" contests on arrival day. You also had to go and tighten the guy ropes after the first rain or first dew.
large scout tents often had a linen fly sheet and a much smaller cotten inner.
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On Sat, 29 Sep 2012 11:02:17 +0100, Harry Bloomfield

Yup that's what I remember being huddled in a ridge tent at west wittering with 2 cousins and uncle exhorting us not to touch the sides.
AJH
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I always knew there were many reasons I hate camping.
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On Sun, 30 Sep 2012 16:11:22 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@sylva.icuklive.co.uk wrote:

Yes, it was marvellous, that old shit. There are some retro things that are ok, but some I'm glad to see the back of, and leaky tents are one of them.
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On Sat, 29 Sep 2012 01:10:17 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@o2.co.uk wrote:

I have found recipes for waterproofing using aluminum acetate: dissolve in soft water, dip or brush on.
Thomas Prufer
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On 29/09/2012 09:10, snipped-for-privacy@o2.co.uk wrote:

My father used a recipe that involved soaking the canvas first in a soap solution, then in alum. I don't recall it being particularly effective.
Colin Bignell
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alum sound more like fireproofing - were candles used in the tent?
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On 29/09/2012 19:06, charles wrote:

Nope. It was definitely intended as waterproofing, applied to the flysheet.
Colin Bignell
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Nightjar was thinking very hard :

Alum confirmed as a means of waterproofing by this link-
http://midtown.net/dragonwing/waterproofing.htm
Look under 'Homemade Products'.
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On Sep 30, 10:07am, Harry Bloomfield

our local boys brigade leader used to make a mix of beeswax and liqid parrafin, and brush that on after erecting the tent.
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On 30/09/2012 13:36, Bob wrote:

That sound very like the stuff I used for waterproofing a jacket many years ago. Might have been Belstaff wax.
Andy
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On Sun, 30 Sep 2012 19:57:30 +0100, Andy Champ wrote:

Hmm, I'd be interested to hear any DIY mixes for such things - I've got an old wax jacket which is years past needing re-waxing, but AFAICT they don't seem to do such things on this side of the Pond, so getting an off the shelf product isn't possible.
cheers
Jules
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