Research on this fabric told me that I was looking for a utilitarian brown linen. Another period use was mainly furniture covers. I went with a beautiful mid-weight 100% linen that I scavenged from the thrift store for a dollar.
Here's my first attempt at a boy's brown Holland pinafore:
He really likes that he can play and get dirty and not ruin his clothes. I like that too. I've posted images of boys in pinafores here and boys with drums here. I couldn't help but add my new image to those posts as well.