ModHomeEcTeacher on Curbly has a tutorial on how to make real oilcloth, the kind grandma has. ModHomeEcTeacher writes:
Why do they call it “oil”cloth? Probably because the recently advertised “real oilcloth” that is all the rage is made from cotton fabric covered with a petroleum based coating.However, genuine oilcloth, the real thing grandma had on her kitchen table was made from cotton duck, canvas or linen that was coated several times with linseed oil to give it a waterproof-ish surface. The fabric could be dyed or printed before the linseed treatment.