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Loose fibers, usually obtained from untwisting old ropes made of Hemp or Jute. Oakum fibers were treated with Tar, creosote, or Asphalt then either rewound into new ropes, made into binder board or used for caulking seams in wooden ships. Oakum was also made into inexpensive fabric, called tow linen. It is a coarse fabric that shows numerous knots and defects.

Synonyms and Related Terms

white oakum; oakumwerk=uitgeplozen touw, breeuwwerk (Ned);

Resources and Citations

  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 395
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998