CANVAS WATERPROOFING—What will waterproof canvas and not leave it stiff or greasy?
Dr. John Hurley, member of the State Board of Pharmacy of New York gave me this recipe: take three cakes of soap (about a pound) shave up and dissolve in boiling water. Dip and souse and saturate the cloth in this soaped water—I boiled it in. Dissolve half a pound of alum (powdered is quickest) in eight quarts of water; dip the soaped cloth in this alum water. Spread the cloth out to dry. The alum makes the soap insoluble—so it does not dissolve. The soap fills the pores of the cloth, and it will shed water, and even hold water, as I know, for I waterproofed ordinary unbleached muslin last summer. However, eight or ten ounce duck is better under treatment of this kind. I used ivory soap, but I believe ordinary laundry soap serves as well.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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