In Europe, from the fourteenth century, oil cloths were made in imitation of leather and came to be used for upholstery. The cloth was made by applying coatings of a filling, typically a paste of china clay or lithopone in thickened linseed oil, to one side of a suitable cloth base, typically unbleached, plain woven cotton or linen. Several applications of these materials would be required to produce the finished cloth, which was allowed to dry at moderate temperature between applications. The better qualities of cloth were rubbed down between coatings, dusted with chalk and calendared. The results were variously known as American cloth, wax cloth, toile cire and Lancaster cloth.
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