View Full Version : Waterproofing cloth (for a kid's teepee)
27th May 2012, 19:53
My daughter and I built a teepee last summer (her first big project on her sewing machine.) This is not a "living" structure, but a kid's "fort" and tent that she and some of her friends did sleep out in it a couple of times. It is collapsible, made from eight 2x2x12-foot long poles and cloth. The cloth was some surplus cloth someone had, that was supposed to be something like the cloth used for men's swim trunks. I want to waterproof it.
All the commercial products to waterproof cloth are chemical factory concoctions that are carcinogenic and scare the bejesus out of me when I think of my daughter breathing even a little bit of that stuff.
So, I'm thinking about linseed oil. That will make the cloth into "oilcloth." Or maybe there's a better oil to use? Ideally, the oil will be relatively inexpensive and won't smell rancid when the teepee sits in the sun.
Have any of you ever done this? Do you have to "paint" both sides of the cloth?
Any ideas gratefully accepted!
27th May 2012, 20:14
From "Care2 Healthy Living" - Waterproofing Chemical Alternatives (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10069.html): It has three recipes for tents.
"Lanolin, beeswax, and linseed oil are often used as natural waterproofers. A fourth ingredient that works well as a waterproofer is to use straight jojoba oil. Linseed oil and beeswax seem to provide the most long lasting results, although lanolin or joboba are nice for a quick waterproofing of your boots; you just might need to repeat frequently. For any approach, make sure you thoroughly cover all exposed material that is to be waterproofed."
Also this vid may be another solution:
Natural Waterproofing: Bael and Jaggery (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7C27W419Qo)
27th May 2012, 21:50
linseed oil is great, I use it on woood all the time, just watch it when using linseed oil, it can self ignite soaked cloth under certain circumstances... my friends awoke to a burning rag after linseed oiling a wooden floor....
Bryn ap Gwilym
27th May 2012, 22:50
Saddle wax may do the trick. Its been many a moon since I have used it though so I can't remember the ingredients.
This may help though? Saddle soap ingredients (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddle_soap)
27th May 2012, 23:59
I reuse, recycle and salvage lots of things, which happen to be at hand.... I also tend towards 'surplus' stores. (Around here these are more often in the form of really small stores, where in past such outlasts were usually much bigger)....
I tend to think these principles are paramount, recycling, reusing, salvaging and saving money, especially for our very confused day and age. Children's learning can be realistic and practical lessons, i would hope. I appreciate that one would like to provide kids with historical perspectives of what people did in older times. Yet in those times , products generally were very limited, until the industrial age. I have used plenty of ordinary linseed oils and have liked it's energetic quality. I had just one proprietary brand spontaneously combust in punky wood, though it might have been reacting with other things too, with just the right coagulation, time and temperature factors... Painted out onto a cloth and dried, along with supervision, ordinary brands should be OK... (Warmth, sun and dry breezes achieve this best). The cooked linseed oil is faster drying and works well as furniture coating. The raw type take longer to dry out and dries more 'blonde' or clear, (cooked is browner).
I might be more attracted towards latex paints which tend to be abundant in surplus outlets. Fun colors might be found there. Exterior type is important. Some are likely plant based in origin, some not... I think lead has been banned in paints, but unfortunately, fungicide might be common. I would check and think over that, beforehand. It might provide a good lesson for kids to study ingredients of products and participate in research, as to potential effects of products. Begin to appreciate the complex issues with products in our society.
I'm sure Dennis could make that fun and educational at the same time ;-)
28th May 2012, 01:26
Yeah, Wavy, the teepee is quite boring right now, and she has free rein to decorate it any way she wants to. Sew-on hand-cut "appliques" or paint...
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