For traditional cloth-bound cheddars lard is applied to
the outside of the cloth. The cloth and lard allow the cheese
to breathe and protect it from damage and excessive
weight loss due to evaporation (drying) during aging,
as a natural rind forms on the cheese under the cloth.
During the course of maturation the lard itself is eaten
away by molds, leaving a dry, canvas-like surface in its wake.