Oiled Silk "Baggies" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-12-2007, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, just wanted to thow this out there since I'm sure it may be useful to some of you. I was reading an etiquette book the other day, from the 50's I think, and I saw a list of things that every new bride was required to have. One of the items was oiled silk bags, (or maybe waxed silk) for keeping food. Sounds like it would be a good replacement for plastic baggies? Anyways, I thought it was cool.
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#2 of 20 Old 10-12-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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That sounds really interesting? Have you been able to find anything else on this?

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#3 of 20 Old 10-12-2007, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, most of the links I found were from the 1800's....apparently it's silk coated in boiled linseed oil. Theoretically this would be food safe, but a lot of boiled linseed oil has metallic "dryers" and petroleum products, so I wonder if you could boil your own linseed oil, which I believe is flax oil. Any thoughts? I may buy some and try it- seems intriguing.
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#4 of 20 Old 10-13-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maygee View Post
Well, most of the links I found were from the 1800's....apparently it's silk coated in boiled linseed oil. Theoretically this would be food safe, but a lot of boiled linseed oil has metallic "dryers" and petroleum products, so I wonder if you could boil your own linseed oil, which I believe is flax oil. Any thoughts? I may buy some and try it- seems intriguing.
yes...I read about this too -except the idea was to make something similar to a 'wrap n map' for lunches, but with heavy cotton cloth and linseed oil. I was a geared up to make them, but when I went to buy the linseed oil I saw these scary warnings on the labels (may cause birth defects, etc ) - so I decided not to use it. I figured it must be something added in the processing these days since as you mentioned, pure oil should theoretically be safe.

The only other warning issue I came across was to remember that oiled cloth would be flammable - so just something to keep in mind.

I still want to make some, but am not sure what time of oil would work without getting rancid or sticky!

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#5 of 20 Old 10-14-2007, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So flax seed it linseed oil, right? I wonder if it's dangerous to boil it yourself. I guess it would be no more dangerous than heating oil for the deep fryer- the reason the cloth would be flammable is the surface area exposes a lot of the oil to oxygen. So....do you think that boiling the oil would denature it in the flammable dept? I mean, it's not like linoleum floors are going up in flames, and the heating process makes it thicker, so...I don't know. Maybe I'll give it a go.
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#6 of 20 Old 11-15-2007, 05:46 AM
 
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What about just rubbing in some beeswax till it is coated enough to keep from sticking to the food? Might be safer.
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#7 of 20 Old 11-16-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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and then. . .throw them in the washing machine? scrub them off with a brush in the sink? and then re-wax/oil? or get cheap enough fabric to compost if it's icky?
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#8 of 20 Old 11-17-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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What about just rubbing in some beeswax till it is coated enough to keep from sticking to the food? Might be safer.
Good idea. I'm wondering if it would be better to melt it and either dip the fabric or brush it on. Dipping would probably get too much wax in the fabric though if my recent foray into leaf dipping is any indication

I will try this out on some scrap fabric when I get a chance. Probably after Thanksgiving - I need to be cleaning not making more messes!

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#9 of 20 Old 11-17-2007, 02:37 AM
 
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and then. . .throw them in the washing machine? scrub them off with a brush in the sink? and then re-wax/oil? or get cheap enough fabric to compost if it's icky?
Great questions. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to wash them with soap - or in the washing machine. I think if you get a good coating on them, you should be able to just wipe them off after using??? I'm not sure though. My only experience with oil cloth is the modern petroleum filled version which wipes pretty easily.

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#10 of 20 Old 11-17-2007, 11:10 PM
 
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If some one accomplishes this, please repost. I am very interested to see how it turns out.

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#11 of 20 Old 11-20-2007, 04:46 AM
 
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I actually tried something like this last year. I experimented with a large cotton napkin and beeswax. I wanted to saturate the fabric with the wax, the only way I could figure out to do it was to lay the fabric on a layer of aluminum foil, sprinkle with the beeswax, put a foil layer on top and go over it with my iron. Perhaps a silicone mat would be preferable, but I didn't have any to try. It melted the wax into the fabric perfectly. I'd use a much lower temp next time as the wax overheated a bit and that doesn't smell good, ick. The napkin is rather stiff but perfectly foldable. It doesn't keep a sandwich as moist as plastic baggies, but for a couple of hours it's ok. It's not totally waterproof like modern oilcloth. It's gone through the washer a few times and it still seems about the same.
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#12 of 20 Old 11-20-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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Just a though has anyone tried this with Lanoline, like Lanshnoa BF cream. I used to use this on cotton/poly blend diaper wraps and it was good for about 10 washes before they leaked.
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#13 of 20 Old 11-21-2007, 03:33 AM
 
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That is an interesting idea, can you share how you applied it?
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#14 of 20 Old 03-17-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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this is a great thread, worth resurrecting!

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#15 of 20 Old 03-19-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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I agree! How did you apply the lanolin, momtoalexsarah?

Also with the wax, did it mess up the washing machine? Did you have to line dry it?

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#16 of 20 Old 03-22-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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Has anyone else tried lanolising cloth like that?? :

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#17 of 20 Old 03-27-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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I am wondering the same thing. Maybe I will experiment with some things I have laying around. I have some liquid lanolin, which I like better then the creamy stuff...

Of course, I'm notorious for wanting to try something and never doing it, so perhaps someone should email me hourly for the next few days until I get so annoyed I do it. spring breaks ends in a few days...
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#18 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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Thanks for the email reminder, LeakyBoobs!
Well, I'm sad to report that my lansolined silk did not work. I put a LOT of liquid lanolin on the silk (a handkerchief sized piece of silk), and dried it (my dryer is now sticky, oops ) and then I dribbled some water on it and held th silk so the water was all sitting in the middle of the silk. The silk held the water for about 15 seconds, and then started to drip. The silk was almost sticky with lanolin. I was hoping it would work, and then I could work on removing some of the lanolin to see what was the optimum amount. What I used was a thin piece of silk, like playsilk material. I wonder if a thicker fabric would work better?
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#19 of 20 Old 04-02-2008, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'm going to try to find pure linseed oil and boil it. I'd love to have a good sub for plastic wrap and bags. Do you think it's flammable? I wonder how hot it has to be, and if it will ruin my pot. Any thoughts?
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#20 of 20 Old 04-09-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Here is what a quick google yeilded-
http://www.moscowfood.coop/archive/oilcloth.html

AND... old-time oilcloth is gone because they used lead as a drying agent in the oil when they boiled it (at high temperatures for long periods)... ah. Makes sense.
But an oiled, dryed, and painted (acrylic? foodsafe) canvas should be pretty darned water proofed for a sandwitch baggie/shower curtain/tablecloth.
I have got to try this... wonder how much linseed (foodgrade) oil is in todays lovely economy?

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