WATERPROOFING CANVAS—What weight or quality should canvas be to turn water without fly?
An 8 oz. canvas will turn water when it is new, but old canvas of heavy grades and first quality are apt to leak. My own way is to treat the light canvas with soap and water, and then set the soap with alum. Two cakes of soap to a gallon of water—three cakes to six quarts, and so on—shaving it up and dissolving it. When thoroughly dissolved, dip the cloth in and work the soapy water all through the fibers of the cloth. Then dissolve alum—powdered dissolves fastest—in the proportion of half a pound to six quarts. Dip the soaped cloth into the alum water. That makes the soap insoluble, and the water runs off like it was on grease.
When the soap breaks out, treat it over again. I used muslin and needed no fly overhead in a down pour. This process shrinks the canvas some.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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