View Full Version : gum blanket

09-12-2006, 06:29 PM
does anybody have the recipe to make the rubber to gum blankets? thanks

09-12-2006, 06:40 PM
You take rubber sheeting and vulcanize it to canvas(Cotton Duck). Some guy patented the process in the 1850's. It's not a "paint it on" procedure. If you're looking for a "tarred cloth" formula, try the search feature there's a zillion of them here somewhere.

He said "Tard Cloth" he he he he...

09-12-2006, 09:17 PM
You may want to forget about making your own rubber cloth and try to find some through industrial belting and conveyor supply companies. In a quest to reproduce a gum blanket from a private collection in Cincinnati I managed to find a few companies on the eastern seaboard who sent samples of the various weights of rubberized cotton they had on hand. It's not too expensive either....just make sure to check the weight, width, and what kind of cotton the rubber is adhered to.

I never did get that project off the ground because I could not find an adequate way to do the "heat-sealing" of the hems. You'll see some vendors making all kinds of products from rubberized sheeting only to use something that looks like rubber cement to hold it all together. This is no good as it will inevitably pull apart after use.

NJ Sekela
09-13-2006, 05:22 AM

If you could find a source that is cheap, I would be interested. That whole rubber goods business is based upon very large volume, and despite what people promise in terms of "everyone in the regiment will get one", it doesn't come close to what the rubber industry considers a small order. They have a choice of making scuba and frogmen gear for the Navy which they know how to do, and have made them before, or a 100 rubber blankets for some reenactors.

The so called "rubber cement" that you mention is actually a solvent, which melts the surface and bonds the two pieces when the surfaces solidifies. Home Depot Rubber cement or contact cement will not hold under any circumstances.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,


09-13-2006, 10:58 AM

I will try to dig up the old source for the rubberized cloth. If you're interested, I could also provide you a sample of some original rubberized cotton sateen. A friend of mine purchased a roll of it at an estate sale years ago and never got around to using it for much except a wheel cap for me.

It is true; rubber cement will not hold up under any circumstances! At first blush I thought that is what was being used but I stand corrected. The use of bonding agents has been keeping me away from finishing a personal project - a rubberized "bladder" canteen - so I may look into heat-sealing once or a solvent for at least that concern.