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What is the difference between Oilcloth and Acrylic coating?

acrylic European French and Italian tablecloths Italian and French tablecloths oilcloth Restaurant

Oilcloth originally was prepared by the long boiling of linseed oil with metal salts,and lead dross and used to give canvas and heavy duty fabrics a water repellent layer. Although this treatment was reasonably effective it was obviously very toxic and time consuming to make. The modern oilcloth is less toxic, but also less suitable for giving fabric the same levels of effectiveness.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) took over as a fabric treatment in the early 20th century, from the arduous and toxic task of the time consuming linseed oil treatment. PVC was cheap to produce and gives a consistent durable finish. However, in recent times, concerns have been raised about some of the chemicals used in the production of PVC

In Europe chemists and manufacturers have been working hard to find alternatives to these potentially harmful additions. 

This has resulted in the banning of all production of PVC, since 2015, in all EU countries, because of the environmental and toxic consequences and concerns of PVC."

 European Acrylic-coated cotton and or linen is a fabric that during manufacture is heat-treated with a powdered acrylic to give the cotton fibres water and stain resistant, and long lasting properties. Acrylic is not a PVC-based plastic, like oil cloth.


Unlike PVC,acrylic treated fabrics can be  machine washed! Cold wash or up to 30c and ironed on the reverse side. Using a drip dry cycle reduces the need for so  much ironing. Generally a wipe over between sittings or meals with a mild detergent and damp cloth will remove solid food mass and sticky fingers !

The acrylic coating offers many advantages in addition to the stain resistance. It is a lot more durable than other tablecloth remedies such as PVC. The French and Italian tablecloths are so durable and long lasting which  makes it very suitable for commercial,restaurant or hospitality venues as well as the home.                      Hot plates and serving dishes can be put straight on the tablecloth with out the need for mats. Rice and Blue Tac/ sticky tape do not stick or rub into this fabric!

Since we have found a lot of our customers still think of oilcloth, we have made it easy for you to search and look at our large range of quality European Acrylic treated tablecloths. Enter either : acrylic or oilcloth into search on top of the home page and the full range should appear for your selection. We also have a considerable range of Teflon treated and Jacquard tablecloths in our collections and can be found under Teflon or Jacquard.

Hoping we have answered some of your questions and queries about oilcloth versus acrylic treated fabric. Please contact us if you would like to know more.      

Email us:                                             Call us   : 1300665088




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