Covering usually the front of the body, an apron is basically a garment that is worn by professionals over other clothing. The word came from the French word “napron”, which means “a small piece of cloth.” However, “napron” later became “apron” via rebracketing. Aprons are made of different materials, including canvas, cotton, nylon and leather. With its roots dating back to the Middle Ages, traditional leather aprons with pockets is still quite a popular choice among professionals across various industries.
Why Do Professionals Need to Wear Aprons?
An apron protects your uniform or clothing from substances that might splash onto it during an activity at the workplace or home. In the olden days, tradesmen were called “apron men” as they used to wear an apron habitually to safeguard their clothing. For several centuries, aprons have been in use inside kitchens to help cook or chefs protect their clothing from oil splashes and food stains. Ideally, aprons should be worn in situations, in which people may to protect their garments from substances that may damage or stain them.
Aprons for Different Professions
While aprons are used in many professions, here are three most common ones:
- Aprons for Welding: Performing welding work with the necessary protection may lead to severe burns. A complete leather apron protects a welder from slag, sparks and heat, and is considered an important element of a welder’s protective gear.
- Aprons for Painting: Artists have been using aprons for centuries. Besides, protecting their clothes from plaint splashes and spills, leather aprons with pockets offer an easy way to hold knives, palettes, paint tubes and brushes.
- Aprons for Cooking: Presently, this specific activity is most closely related to aprons. Leather aprons for cooking is quite popular these days and are available in a range of designs and styles. The real essence of an apron lies in the fact that it allows you to do something messy without the need to put on specialised clothes and that it can be worn or removed quickly as and when needed.
Aprons for Men
Initially, aprons was worn by male professionals – butchers, masons, barbers, blacksmiths, etc. – with each profession having its own specific style and colours. In the late 20th century, it’s recognised as a garment to be worn by women inside kitchens. Today, you are more likely to find bearded, tattooed and muscular male chefs wearing an apron than women in kitchens. Men, who work with drinks and food, have embraced aprons, specifically leather aprons, quite gracefully in the last couple of years.
How Should You Wear an Apron?
There are many different styles of aprons with the most common one being the full-length apron, which comes with waist ties and a neck loop. If the neck loop isn’t fixed, you may need to tie it first. You apron should cover your outermost clothing, but it shouldn’t restrict you in any ways. You should then cross the waist ties and tie them at the front to form a bow.
The waist ties shouldn’t be tied tight enough to make you feel uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be kept too lose to hamper your day-to-day work.
Different Types of Aprons
Depending on personal taste and specific requirements, a person can choose from the following different styles of aprons:
- Aprons without ties
- Aprons with a neck strap
- Aprons with and without pockets
- Aprons with sleeves
- Aprons with leather straps
- Aprons with a towel loop
- Aprons with a bib
- Aprons with shoulder straps
- Aprons with a cross-over back
- Aprons with long sleeves
Personalised aprons are quite popular these days. Here’s how an apron can be customised:
- Aprons with logos/graphics: Just like any other garments, aprons are available with innumerable humorous, quirky and inspirational logos and graphics.
- Aprons with a custom logo: Catering companies or restaurant chains use aprons with their custom brand logos to promote their business.
- Personalised aprons with names: Personalised gifts are quite popular and a personalised apron with the receiver’s name is a great and inexpensive option for both corporate and personal gifting.
Thickness of Aprons
The thickness of an apron is based on the purpose it is to be used for. For instance, a welding apron is expected to provide complete protection from molten metal and sparks, hence it’s usually thick and made from full grain leather. On the other hand, aprons for light domestic tasks are relatively thin and made of light cotton.
Washing an Apron
How you can wash an apron largely depends on the type of material used to make it. A traditional leather apron should never be washed. Aprons with leather neck hoops or straps are usually washable, but the leather elements need to be treated with some conditioner after the wash to restore the lost oils. It’s suggested to go through the reading instructions on the apron before you wash one. An apron should be soaked in a mild soap solution for half an hour before washing it. Stubborn marks and stains can be removed by applying lemon juice and further rubbing salt over the stained area. For tough stains, rewashing may be needed.