Thursday, February 26, 2009

Apron History

I was interested in the "ancient history" of the apron and did some research through antiquity. I found an interesting article featuring an Apron Goddess, Judy Vetrovec, from Fairview district in Oakland, California, which I have provided below. I found a few representative pictures to accompany the text!

Here's a brief rundown of the "Age of Aprons," as compiled by Vetrovec.

The English word "apron" came from "naperon," the old French word for napkin or small tablecloth.

Twelfth century:
Guess who wore aprons first? Men, as hygienic, protective wear.

Fourteenth century:
Dark-colored aprons started to be worn tied at the waist.

Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries:
Colors denoted the trade of the wearer. English barbers wore a checked pattern; butchers and porters, green; and masons, white.

Seventeenth century:

Romantic notions began to blossom. Your beau is thinking of you if the apron becomes untied and drops off.

Eighteenth century:
The pinafore apron was "pinned" to clothing.

Nineteenth century:
Cooks began turning the apron only once before washing. Any more, and the stains aren't hidden.

Long aprons cover and protect clothing.

Straight-line aprons are the style.

Beautiful prints with bright sashes, along with crocheted aprons, make an appearance.

Printed half-aprons tied around the waist, and aprons made of handkerchiefs, are popular. Picture credit to The Apron Queen.


Full-skirted plastic aprons, and ones with cross-stitch designs, gain U.S. popularity.


Half-aprons with attached hand towels are sure-fire hits, along with aprons sewn with plastic hoops or valance material. Picture from Fabrics.net

1970 to present:

Barbecue, anyone? Grilling is a popular design or theme for modern-day aprons.

For Fairview's Judy Vetrovec, the history of aprons is as important as their beauty and practicality.

Article courtesy of c2007 ANG Newspapers.
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

6 Goddesses Have Spoken:

Suzi said...

Very interesting!

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Erin.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

They've com a long way haven't they! Very cool.

Kendra said...

Very good post!Interesting!

daisigirl said...

I love doing research and finding where things originated. I really like you blog! It is unique and fun! It makes me want to sew myself an apron!

ChefBliss.com said...

How fun to learn the history. Thanks for bringing this to us, I enjoyed it!!

Anonymous said...

A good read is 'Women's Work, the first 20,000 years' by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, some interesting information about 'aprons'.