Monday, February 23, 2009

History of the Apron:

The apron came about because of practical necessity. In years gone by, people didn't have the luxury of owning a large wardrobe. Washing and drying clothing was not done on a frequent basis. So aprons served a practical purpose of covering up the dress underneath to project it from soiling. This made washing much easier. The apron would be washed every couple of days but the dress or clothing underneath did not have to be washed as much, perhaps maybe once a week. Later they began serving as decorative purpose also. Not just housewives wore aprons; school teachers, children, shop-keepers, and secretaries wore different styles of aprons over their clothing every day.
In the 1920's and '30's aprons followed the silhouette of the dress - long, with no waist line. By the 1940's, aprons gained a cinched waistline, and were often gaily trimmed with rick-rack, buttons, and pockets of contrasting color. Many aprons were made from feed cloth. Feed cloth was a heavier fabric and was used as a sack to put seed or four in that farmers used. There was no wasting back then, when the sacks were empty,. the feedsack fabric was used for quilts and aprons. In fact, when the apron had "seen its day" and was ready to be tossed, the best parts were cut out and used for quilts.
The 1950's brought out the half-aprons of highly starched cotton, feedsack, and sheer ( a see- through fabric) trimmed with lace for special occasions. Also two- piece aprons and short smocks of bright cotton prints for every day use were popular.
At one point, Aprons were a serious fashion element, not just an afterthought cover-up! Today the more rugged utilitarian aprons are still in use. The old-fashioned pretty cotton ones are hard to find. The modern aprons are available in both printed and hand stitched designs in a bouquet of appealing color.

Visit her site and check out her handmade aprons!

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