Collectible Kitchen Aprons
For centuries, the apron has been worn as a decorative and practical garment. Besides protecting clothing from splatters and spills, these tie-in-the-back cloths feature decorative patterns. In fact, they are returning to the kitchen as collectibles to hang alongside the wooden spoon, towels, and potholders.What materials are used to make vintage kitchen aprons?
The vintage collectibles were made from scraps of material or whatever materials were available. You will find a variety of fabrics, including cotton and linen. The most common materials are lightweight, durable, and comfortable. A brief description of a few is listed here.
- Cotton: The fabric is breathable, moisture-wicking, and does not hold odors.
- Crochet: Soft yarn collectibles are suitable for serving family and guests.
- Linen: Like cotton, linen breathes and wicks away moisture, keeping you cool in a hot kitchen.
- Chiffon: This material is worn for a variety of occasions.
Vintage aprons are held together with a piece of fabric or string and may be tied around the neck and/or waist. Some collectibles like the pinafore drape over the shoulders.
- Half: This type of cloth protects garments from the waist to the middle of the thigh or knees.
- Full: A full apron has a bib at the top to cover the chest and slips or ties around the neck. It also has strings on the side to tie around the waist.
- Pinafore: These pieces have extra fabric that covers the shoulders. They look similar to a sleeveless dress and often include decorative elements such as ruffles or wings.
Beginning in the early 20th century, the items were made from flour and feed sacks and defined by a simple tie around the waist. By the 1940s, homemade designs included gingham patterns, embroidery, and other embellishments. They continued as a fashion trend until women started taking jobs outside the home. Use the info below to help you identify the era of your preference.
- The 1940s: With the Second World War ending in the middle 1940s, women used their creativity to add bibs, making them less utilitarian and more attractive.
- The 1950s: As house parties became the norm, women donned applique and embroidery cloth over their hostess garb while serving guests.
- The 1960s: Aprons with phrases, like “Queen of the Kitchen,” let family and guests know that the wearer was confident in her cooking skills.
Before the collectibles were commercially available, women made their own garment protectors. Most women kept at least two covers: one for daily chores and one for hostess duties. Besides cooking and serving, the pieces were worn to perform gardening duties. If the smock did not have pockets, women would fold the bottom of the cloth to gather vegetables from the garden.