Everything You Need to Know About Aprons
Cooking, gardening or just tidying up around the house, there is one item that can withstand all of these tasks and still look incredibly stylish. And no, we’re not talking rubber gloves. We’re talking aprons!
An apron is a protective garment worn over other clothes and covering the front part of the body. There are many apron types, they can be made from various fabrics, and used in many different settings, from homes to restaurants, artisan workshops, flower studios, etc. Aprons are popular with both men and women, and even children.
But where does the tradition of wearing an apron come from, and why should you choose different types for different occasions - these questions and more we’ll try to answer in this blog post.
A short history of aprons
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the first apron was created, but some sources claim aprons were used by many ancient civilizations, including Egyptians who wore them during rituals and ceremonies. Ancient gods are often depicted wearing aprons that were later adopted by priests and even featured in the Bible.
The word itself comes from the French word napperon meaning a small decorative tablecloth, like a placemat. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, aprons were so distinguished, you could indicate a person’s trade by it: barbers donned checkers, butchers wore blue stripes, butlers wore green... Women of the day wore beautifully embroidered washable aprons to protect their expensive gowns.
In the 19th century, when sewing machines became widely used, the traditional apron saw a rise in new styles involving bibs, ruffles, lace. However, as our clothes became cheaper and easier to care for, the popularity of protective aprons has dropped but we are seeing an increase again.
The many functions of an apron
Throughout the ages, aprons were equally worn by women and men. However, stereotypically, women donned kitchen aprons around the house while cooking or cleaning, and men’s aprons were more suited for garden work, grilling, barbecuing.
Nowadays, when the line between gender roles is almost blurred out, aprons have become more or less unisex and can serve many different purposes depending on the fabric it is made from.
Cotton and linen are best used for kitchen, garden aprons, basically anything that involves working with dry materials. Linen is especially wonderful because it dries out very quickly and is naturally dirt-repellent so your linen aprons will stay clean and crisp for a long time. Leather aprons are popular with people whose work involves working with heat, fire, chemicals, rubber or nylon aprons are good for those who deal with liquids a lot, like lab workers or painters.
Learn more about the most popular kitchen apron types below.
• Bib apron
Bib apron, also called a chef apron, is universally the most popular apron type. It provides full body coverage protecting the torso and ending at the knees, features side or front pockets, and comes with a loop or ties around the neck and waist. It is perfect for those who need to fend off spills, splashes, heat, dirt, etc. However, bib aprons can feel restricting so if you need to move around, a different style can serve you better.
• Waist apron / Half apron
Waist apron, also called server apron or half apron, is very common in the hospitality and catering industry. It is usually pretty short covering the hip area and ensuring easy leg movement. Waist aprons come with front pockets to hold pens, pads, and other small items.
• Crossback apron
The crossback apron construction is synonymous with pinafore aprons and Japanese aprons. It is also probably one of the most versatile ones. Because it doesn’t feature straps, it can easily accommodate different body types, it’s very easy to slip on and doesn’t restrict movement whatsoever. Cross-back aprons provide full body coverage, even more than bib aprons.