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Cape Cod Oil Clothes

Before the days of sewing machines, the fisherman’s clothes were made by outfitters. They bought the cloth, cut the pants, the jacket and the barvel (which was a large apron), and laid them out for the women to sew.

When the clothes were sewed, they were covered with two or three coats of linseed oil laid on with a paint brush. Rows of these stiff figures hung singly with the arms extended from fear of combustion in many a dim store loft.

It is known that linseed oil can combust or cause a fire if it is not left to “air out”. Many a new home has been burned down from linseed oil soaked rags that were crumpled up and tossed into a waste basket by some carpenter after treating a wood piece with it.

Of course nowadays a fisherman’s “oil gear” or “oil skins” are made from rubber or vinyl which is highly unlikely to combust.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 05/03/06
Categories: FishingHistory
Keywords: fishing, history


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