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      Oilcloth vs laminated cotton

      Tablecloths: A Brief History // Oilcloth vs. Laminate Cotton

      Tablecloths: A Brief History // Oilcloth vs. Laminate Cotton

      Fabrics draped over tables have been a thing since...forever. A fantastic invention, for catching spills, cradling hot plates, adding color to delectable dishes and making the right atmosphere for a meal to be had. As far back as 40 AD, a Roman poet describes a gift in which he receives amongst other things like wine, figs and incense; a tablecloth! So yeah, tablecloths have got a deeeep history.

      The Feast of Achelous Jan Brueghel

      They were a status symbol for nobility, pristine white linen signifying extravagance and the resources to maintain and obtain that clean table-top perfection that makes everyone think you’re classy as heck and you’ve got all your ducks in a row.


      The Dinner Party - Jules Grun


      As time went on, practicality became a bit more popular and folks started waterproofing fabrics with natural oils such as linseed oil and lead oxide. In the 18th century this technique was perfected to produce the closest thing to what we call "oilcloth" today.

      Check out this video that Towsends put out, going over the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqjfwhirsVo&t=87s

      The Family Pocket Book: Or Fountain of True and Useful Knowledge from about 1760 begins its Oilcloth recipe by saying  “How to make Oil Cloth; - very necessary item for country people or any that travel in wet weather” Does this sound relevant Seattleites? Apart from being time consuming, the process was extremely poisonous. Luckily for you, you do not need to watch the above video to weatherproof your hat, your bag, your shelter, it’s 2018 baby! IMPWEARhome’s got ya covered.

      retro, vintage, tablecloth, oilcloth, vinyl, mid-century, modern

      Fast forward a bit to the 1950’s where efficiency in the home is becoming all the rage. Except for that dinner-in-a-dish trend that led to horrific creations like Tuna Jell-o Pie and Ham and Bananas Hollandaise, they did get their place settings right….kinda. See while their tablecloths looked shiny and cute, they were stiff, not machine washable and still, super toxic! Did you know that polyvinyl chloride (vinyl) is made from petroleum, a very unsustainable resource. The process of making traditional oilcloth is really bad for the environment and it’s just as bad if not worse when they’re thrown away. They do not break down and steadily release carcinogenic dioxins for years and years into the earth.

      So, step aside grandma and hold the spam, we’ve got a badass alternative!


       Impwear’s tablecloths are 100% cotton and coated in a biodegradable water based urethane that passes all these tests at Oeko-Tex, a golden standard for eco-friendliness and ethical business standards! Our laminated fabrics are heat resistant, water resistant, machine washable, good for the environment, good to the people who work with it and sweet for the people who buy it!

      So set your table in the 21st century with IMPWEARhome.