Making charcloth and charcoal
First I will cover the items/materials you will need. For charcloth you will need 100% cotton cloth cut into 2"x2" squares. For the charcoal you will need to get out in the woods and find some punky wood. This is the dead spongy wood you find in rotten stumps where carpenter ants or termites have been. Break the punk wood into 1" pieces.
Next you will need something to char it in. Depending on how much you want to make determines the size of the container selected. For a small amount an altoids can will work. For a large amount you may need a gallon can. Either way it needs to be able to be sealed air tight.(In a survival situation you can use any metal can and seal the end with mud) Next punch a 1/16" to 1/8" hole in the container for the fumes(smoke) to escape.
Place your cloth or punk wood loosely in the container and close it up tight except for the pinhole.
Place the container in the edge of your fire with the pinhole visible to you. As the container heats up the contents will begin a controlled burn inside. You will notice smoke coming from the pinhole. If you see any fire coming out remove the container from the fire and the smoke should extinguish them.
During this process you should flip the container over to insure a complete and even burn. When the smoke slows down your material should be charred. Remove the container from the fire and plug the hole with a stick.
Don't open the container until it has completely cooled to the touch. If you open it too soon the contents can burst into flames ruining all of your hard work. You may get lucky and reseal it and save the contents,I have before.
Once the container is cold it is safe to open. The contents should be an even black. If it is still a little brown it needs to cook longer. The cloth should not be hard to tear but not crumble either. The charcoal will be a lot smaller and very dry. It really isn't that hard and with a little practice you will figure it out.
Get out your flint and steel and test it out. If it takes a spark and begins to glow red your there.
I find it works better to put a spark to the cloth and transfer it to the charcoal.This gives you a bigger ember/heatsource to ignite your dry tinder.