Oilskin, Waxed Cotton or Goretex

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Wook, Mar 21, 2010.

?

What waterproof clothing would you pick?

  1. Oilskin Coat & Hat

    24.8%
  2. Waxed Cotton Coat & Hat

    20.2%
  3. Goretex & Hood

    55.0%
  1. Wook

    Wook Scout

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    You're in a cabin in the woods. It's raining and you want to go out.

    On the coat stand are a good leather hat, an Oilskin Coat, a Waxed Cotton Coat and a Goretex Jacket with a hood.

    What do you choose and why?

    Are synthetics really better?
     
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  2. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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    I have to go with the Gortex cuz thats all I have, and have used. I would like to see how the oilcloth works though
     
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  3. Particlem

    Particlem Scout

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    I'd go with the GoreTex jacket, but with a hat! Those hoods are the pits.
     
  4. w9trb

    w9trb Scout

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    Goretex, sometimes technology is your friend...sometimes!
     
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  5. Vilkas

    Vilkas Warning: DO NOT trade with Vilkas

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    Again Gore is all I own (hopefully will be changing that soon) so it is hard to really choose. Though the real question is if you had to run through a fire what would you wear a candle, a oil soaked rag, or something that melts just thinking of sparks?
    For now I would have to go with the Gore.
    I think the real plus of waxed or oiled cloth is first off the price, second you can make what you want not what you are told to have, and finally their durability and repairabilty.
     
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  6. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Goretex fan here, My coat and boots are Goretex Love the stuff!
     
  7. Pinebaron

    Pinebaron Curmudgeon Supporter

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    I've had oilskin and goretex. Goretex would be the one. Oilskin is water resistant and will eventually soak through. Goretex is waterproof and more breathable than oilskin. Also Oilskin is heavier and stiffer than goretex.
     
  8. kgd

    kgd Dr. Fishguts Bushclass I

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    I voted Gortex because it is great for the conditions described in the set up. Vilkas comment made me laugh quite a bit. If, I had to run through the fire than I'll take my swandri bushshirt thank you!

    A lot of my work is on boats and I find Gortex to be good for those conditions. However, having bought into the gortex model in the past, I am disappointed with its longevity given the costs. I've had the $400 plus jacket varieties as well as the $75 knock-offs. The $400 ones have worked better for me, I like the durability of 3-ply, but even with that stuff, once the DWR is gone its performance becomes poor. Once it delaminates (it eventually always does) then it is useless.

    So as a new outfit, stuff works great. Then pretty soon the DWR starts to go. This compramises performance because the outer nylon starts to wet out. While this doesn't penetrate the laminate layer, it acts as an effective vapour barrier for sweat so you start to create the wet conditions by your own perspiration. I've tried the different wash-in treatements which help restore DWR but it seems never to the same degree or to the same longevity as the original. In fact, the wash in products seem to give a few weeks respite but not much more than that. When the laminate starts to degrade, then the water just starts bleeding through and you now have a $400 plus windbreaker.

    Part of what appeals to me about tin cloth is its longevity. I imagine it has drawbacks like bulkiness, weight and microclimates. Yet having a jacket and pair of chaps that last a lifetime is appealing, even if its usefulness is best in the fall and early spring.
     
  9. wsdstan

    wsdstan Guide

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    I would go with waxed cotton. My stuff will hold the water out for quite a bit, it breathes a little bit, its tough, and, most importantly, its what I have.
    :)
     
  10. cloudraker

    cloudraker Guide

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    I have used both. I prefer gortex in the climate I live in. Cotton just pulls in too much moisture even when waxed or oiled, and always feels cold to cool. The Aussie Koolra are popular here with the horse crowd. And they work well for them. They have a four legged companion to carry the extra weight of oiled clothing. Most old timers actually preferred heavy wool sweaters in the pacific wet season - which runs June 1st to May 30th.:p
     
  11. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Administrator Vendor Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Goretex, lighter, packs away smaller. And I have it already.
     
  12. mdauben

    mdauben Scout

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    I'll be one of the odd-balls, and go with the waxed cotton. I've got a waxed cotton duster and drover's hat, thats I've worn through rain and snow. Just really dry and comfortable. Now, if I was backpacking or canoeing or bicycling, the gortex would get the nod, but for just walking out the door for a trip to work or the store, I like my old duster.

    Plus I look damn cool in it. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
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  13. SKennard

    SKennard Tracker

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    It really depends on the weather but I'd have to go with the oilskin and hat. I have an oilskin, the down side is that it has to be retreated from time to time and they don't breathe well but shed the rain like nobody's business.
     
  14. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Given the scenario and the limited choice I go with nothing, unless it is cold I actually like the feeling of rain on my bare skin.

    If I have to make a choice then it is Goretex or one of its relatives/clones

    I find it interesting that PVC/Silnylon and /or polyurethane proofing are not mentioned as being a choice.
    I used to ride motor cycles and a Melbourne winter can be simply awful, waxed cotton/oilskins are not dry for long; for real waterproofness it has to be one of the non-breathables.

    I actually ( under these conditions ) use my old Swiss Army Alpenflage poncho; although it is a little hard to use an axe whilst wearing it.
     
  15. matt.s

    matt.s Guide

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    I'd pick my Filson tin cruiser :D
     
  16. riley

    riley Scout

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    Same here. I have a duster and a wool hat. Good bottom layers and good boots, i have yet to get wet, or cold.
     
  17. leatherman1984

    leatherman1984 Scout

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    I wear a usgi poncho and gaiters for my rain gear 90% of the time. I'm surprised that alot of people don't like them... I do hit it with H20 proofing after a long season of use.

    That reminds me, I need to repair some of my camping gear for this summer.
     
  18. Topknot

    Topknot Scout

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    Have all, but i have to go with my Ventile smock and a wool shirt.

    Topknot
     
  19. tychoseven

    tychoseven Scout

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    I've got a Filson Tin Cloth hat and it sheds rain even after it's soaked through. I get a little down my back because my head touches the top of the hat (on the inside) and water comes through. I'd say it keeps me 95% dry and I've worn it in some real downpours. It's usually paired with a poncho and I make sure to wear wool underneath. I've been wet, but never cold.
     
  20. swamprat

    swamprat Guide

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    I have had all three and GoreTex wins hands down. Oil skin is tougher than GoreTex and will resist water better than waxed canvas, but it is heavy and will eventually leak.
     
  21. Michael

    Michael Scout

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    Hear in oz its a dry as a bone coat and akrbra hat its bush uniform that what got bought for me when I was on the farm there great
     
  22. kevinkinney

    kevinkinney Current on Tetanus. Supporter

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    Oilskin, with waxed cotton as a close second. (per the parameters of the poll, but my true favorite is Ventile Cotton)

    No mess near the cook stove, never needs to be cleaned, etc.

    I've made a few hundred Goretex garments in my day. I've calibrated the sealing machines, adjusted thread tension, designed and tested the fabrics themselves. They always delaminate after a few years. It's just a hazard of plastic. Filson or Drizabone just keep on chugging. Goretex only 'breathes' as long as the outer textile is capable of beading up the precipitation. Waxed and Oilskin are clammy, but that's nothing a little mechanical ventilation won't fix.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  23. dogman

    dogman Scout

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    I have waxed cotton, a Aussie drizabone(heavy weight bushman) and 2 barbour backhouse coats(from N.Z) both a short & long, with an akubra hat & a bc leather hat.

    Also have an ex German army flectarn pattern goretex, i mostly go with the wax cottons.

    Rob
     
  24. Lead Dog

    Lead Dog Scout

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    I’ve worn my Filson coat in a few storms and have had the water eventually leak through. However, the waxed cotton breathes way better than the Gore-Tex, so there is a trade-off.

    It was also mentioned earlier that the waxed cotton jacket is heavier than the Gore-Tex, but the waxed cotton will endure long after the Gore-Tex has been shredded to bits. But the Gore-Tex packs tight, so I am able to keep a set of raingear in my daypack all the time in case of emergencies. Clothing is the first layer of shelter, right?

    So as with anything, the conditions depend on what I grab. The more aerobic and less wet the activity, the more I lean towards my Filson. The inverse and I grab my Gore-Tex. And for what it’s worth, the Filson has more of a bushcrafty feel to it.
     
  25. bigbore442001

    bigbore442001 Guide

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    I've worn all manner of prophylactic clothing for inclement conditions. Rubber, Gore tex and oil skin. I happen to like the lightweight of Gore Tex. In addition there is one tiny advantage that I did not see touched upon.

    A number of years ago my better half and I were at a state exposition where two gentlemen from the Land Down Under were selling Australian made wares. In their tent they had genuine Drizabone dusters. I bought a double X long drover's coat. It is slick looking and it can be used for dressy occasions such as business or going out on the town. One thing I discovered is that it must thoroughly dry out before you pack it away. It was one of those week long occluded fronts that gave us several days of wet weather. My drover's coat did not thoroughly dry out and it got mold and mildewy. I did wash it in vinegar and repainted it with the oil but I can still get a hint of the odor from the coat.

    That is why I give Gore tex a slight nod.
     
  26. hog

    hog Guide

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    Not Gortex but one of the family of breathable materials.
    Much lighter than the others and probably better.
     
  27. S.Gossman

    S.Gossman Guide Vendor Supporter

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    Goretex. It's lighter and repells water well. Another choice not mentioned is wool.
    Scott
     
  28. Troop

    Troop Scout

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    Yup, wool is king.
     
  29. Troop

    Troop Scout

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    Top-quality Gore-tex; 3-layer laminate is the way to go. The newer Gore-tex Pro shell is unbelievable. Archteryx is the very best, in my humble opinion, but expensive. If you can still get a Theta SV made in Canada, get one. The thing is bullet-proof (almost). Outdoor Research is a very good brand, too.
    I have the OR Mentor jacket for warmer weather, and the Archteryx I ordered a size up (2XL) to put over layers in winter.
    Lifetime guarantees on both. (The OR Mentor is made in China.)
     
  30. SigNY

    SigNY Scout

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    I prefer Oil Skin myself. But I have and use Gortex often.
     
  31. matt.s

    matt.s Guide

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    I posted this earlier today in a similar discussion on another bushcraft forum. I hope noone minds my cross-posting.

     
  32. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    Waxed cotton or wool for me.
    I have used various other types and all have fallen short of my expectations (including Goretex).
    PMZ
     
  33. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I have an Australian Outback brand oilskin with a bit over 20 years use on it. I havent re-treated it yet, and it still seems to work very well. I live in a very dry climate, and have never had mildew problems. I wear it in the rain and snow, toss it on the seat or in the back of the suburban in or under a pile of junk until the next time I need it. I've worn the edges frayed, and it still turns the rain. I've heard others discus the lifespan of goretex, I think I'll stay with the oilskin.
     
  34. cgoobie

    cgoobie Tracker

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    Coming from a province based around the fishing industry, Newfoundland, I would have to say other then the 3 choices given. Not sure what the proper name would be, but we've always called it rubber clothes. Some of the old timers call it oil skins, but from what I've seen it's a lot different then what the guys on here are calling oilskin. Not as breathable as goretex, but without a doubt more water repellent, and it'll last you years. Heres what I'm talking about:
    https://www.mercersmarine.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=showproductdetail&product=6343
     
  35. Troop

    Troop Scout

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    If you want to get crazy with the rubber, here's what the guys on "Deadliest Catch" on TV wear. I have a set for when it's deluging for days on end, and I don't have to move around a whole lot.

    http://www.thebuyingnetwork.com/24681/Rain-Gear--Rain-Wear.html

    (Even Gore-tex has its limits! :))

    This stuff is available in dark green, FYI, which is what I got.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
  36. Troop

    Troop Scout

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  37. xeno1966

    xeno1966 Tinder Gatherer

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    Hello. New to these fora. I have tried all of the above and agree with Topknot. GoreTex is snake oil, IMHO. I only use it at extreme altitude, where condensation is at a minimum. I have three Ventile smocks and they, with a Swanndri or an Aran Sweater, keep me warmer and drier. FWIW, I also cannot stand GoreTex in my boots, even in the snow. I stopped buying Danners a long time ago for that reason.
     
  38. daveridesbikes

    daveridesbikes Guide

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    i work outdoors year round and goretex has never let me down, will it wear out, yes.
    but it is breathable and keeps me dry.
     
  39. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    I worked sporting goods and sold Gore Tex wear for years. It works great- until it doesn't ! Had some brand new pieces delaminate and fail on the first trip out. We had issues with the warranty as well- manufacturer said it was GoreTex' problem, GoreTex said it was manufacturer- we replaced it, and I said a pox on both of them, shipped the defective merchandise to the mfg. at their home office, addressed to their CEO. Never heard back.

    I no longer consider GoreTex good for real woods use. It fails suddenly, and will leave you in a bad way if conditions are bad.

    Rather have a good layered clothing with a poncho for water resistance. JMHO.
     
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  40. ConnieD

    ConnieD Tinder Gatherer

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    My waxed cotton outfit requires a reapplication of their wax product, but it works properly: it breathes adequately even for exertion.

    My oilskins can have excessive wear or or be damaged. I always have a longsleeve turtleneck top to protect the neck and cuffs at the wrists. I'd rather not wear it for work clothing for that reason and it does not breathe at all. I have to wear oversize and have everything opened up for "chimney-effect" air movement to keep as dry as possible from moisture inside. I have bibs and jacket and boots.

    I no longer bother with Gortex or any pu film-based fabric product. They are ruined by perspiration, and although I have very little perspiration, even with exertion this fabric is destroyed after about three washings, as directed, using products designed for it. I know people argue for their expensive fashion clothing they have purchased, nevertheless it is fashion clothing. I have purchased all of the variations of it, over the years, even the most expensive. It is practically useless for the purpose of outdoor clothing, except when new.

    I chose waxed cotton.
     
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  41. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

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    Gore-tex is much better for rain/snow protection than anything else. It also requires less labor to maintain than oiled cotten, etc.
    I prefer a hood to a hat for use in the rain. I find a hat only directs the rain down the back of my neck.
     
  42. backwoodstrails

    backwoodstrails anatidaephobic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Old thread that's worth a second look.
     
  43. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Oilskins for me, proven paramount over the last two centuries for ruggedness, longevity, dryness and flexibility by sailors, fishermen, range riders and fish plant workers. Only con is initial cost.
     
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  44. EternalLove

    EternalLove Scout

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    It wasn't an option but waxed underwear is a crucial part of my kit. It doubles as a hat.
     
  45. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Which do you find breath better on your head, boxers or briefs?
     
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  46. EternalLove

    EternalLove Scout

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    I was a brief man for the support but I switched to boxers for versatility on the trail. The built in possibilities pouch works great as a nut sack.
     
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  47. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    Ha, yes. I read the dates. Definitely an oldie but goodie.

    I may be the odd man out.

    But I own a top of the line Gore-Tex North Face Mountain Parka. Several pieces of Filson waxed Tin Cloth Gear. And an Australian Outback oilskin coat.

    I guess the question really begs for more information. Once you are outside in that rain. What are you going to do?
    If you are just going to stand there. I doubt it really matters. Heck a garbage bad would probably beat them all.

    Going skiing, mountain climbing, cross country skiing or running. Most likely Gore-Tex gets the nod.

    Going Logging?
    Tin Cloth all the way. I logged in a Filson Tin Double Logger for years. It held up, it kept me dry. It didn't soak me in my own sweat. I used that jacket in the woods for roughly six years.

    Oddly it seemed to srink around the middle somehow. So I passed it on to a young Buck with less girth. He wore it for several more years. It was passed on to yet another newb.

    Last I knew it still hung in the shop and was somewhere between a community grab and go and a museum piece.

    I now have a Filson Tin Jacket. I don't log anymore. But it gets firewood duty, snow plow duty, and all the general crap weather duty. It also gets campfire duty.

    My filson gear gets used the most, period.

    My Oilskin with its traditional Cape over Coat, is probably the most water proof garment I own. Up to and including that $400.00+ North Face miracle coat.

    If it is a toad strangler event. The Outback gets the nod. If it was a little shorter. It would probably get used for everything. In identical coat designs. I don't really see that much difference between oilskin and waxed cotton.

    I have stood outdoors at pig roasts, where I was the one cooking the pig, along with some others, in the pouring down rain for close to 24 hours at a clip and remained dry.

    Back in the late '70s when Gore-Tex was new and coming on strong. I was an early adopter. I was a young snowmaking supervisor. And made a living in cold wet environs.

    While most of my crew wore carhartts and Herman Survivor boots. I was wearing Koflach plastic mountaineering boots, and Gen 1 Gore-Tex. It kept the wet man made snow at bay. But my own perspiration kept me moist on the inside. That problem was supposedly solved in Gen 2. Which I acquired. I had the same issues. Then along came Gen 3. Same scenario.

    In reality, there is no one right answer here. It is just like those "Which knife should I buy threads"

    I also can not and will not attempt to tell other folks what may work best for them. All I can do is relay my real world experiences.
    I also freely admit to being a spark magnet. If there is a popping piece of cherry wood and the fire. It usually send its hot embers in my direction. I can't begin to say how many shells and fleeces I have had fire holes in.

    The hat thing deserves its own thread. My go to rain hat is an Akubra Coober Pedy Fur felt hat shped to my liking so it doesn't pond water on top. The right had in bad weather is 1/3 the battle. Shed water before it gets to your coat and you will stay drier.

    Snowmaking, Logging, Bulldozing, Pig Roasting, were all have to go events. We logged 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. Rain, shine or snow. Snowmaking is unique and somewhat resembles mountaineerig. Because you are always out in the cold and dark all winter long.

    Due to my work related outdoor experiences, and my outdoor recreational pursuits. I have probably spent a larger percentage of my life outdoors than many. Much of it, in a can't quit and go home, environment. So over the years, and after many failures. I have my gear dialed in.

    I see value in all three types of gear. Think about your needs, and as the Templar Knight said to Indiana, "Choose Wisely"
     
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  48. LFowler

    LFowler Tracker

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    I've just been scratching my head at what the assumed difference between oilskin and waxed cotton is.
     
  49. backwoodstrails

    backwoodstrails anatidaephobic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    From what I understand they are both heavy cotton duck material but oilskin is treated with linseed oil and waxed canvas with beeswax. I may be mistook though;)
     
  50. LFowler

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    To my knowledge linseed hasn't been used for a very long time as it tends to dry out and crack whatever fabric it is applied to, it certainly is still used on a DIY basis, but I don't think you can find a commercial example. As far as I know the two options are basically paraffin wax or beeswax, people seem to associate oilskin with the thinner/lighter fabrics (like Filson's "sheltercloth") and waxed canvas with heavier weights (like Filson's "tin cloth") but those certainly aren't fixed to the definition.
     
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