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Oilskin is fabric soaked with boiled linseed oil, dried to a fairly pliable, smooth and translucent finish which is waterproof. It can be made of cotton or silk (in which case it can be called oiled silk). The oil gives it a distinctive golden yellow color and a bit of the odor of the oil remains in.

Prior to plastics and manufactured fibers, this was the go-to for waterproof and wind-breaking clothing, particularly fishermen’s slickers and sou’westers. Silk with this oil treatment was used in surgery.

Light slicker fabric today is coated with urethane or polyurethane.

Use: Rainwear; surgical covers and clothing

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