Here's three reasons why you'll enjoy collecting colorful vintage aprons. They are great for the beginning vintage collector because they are usually reasonably priced, each one is unique, and they have an interesting history. So, tie on a printed cotton kitchen bib apron or a frilly sheer hostess coverup and discover this fun and pretty collectible.
Vintage aprons are low priced.
Vintage aprons are starting to become a more widely known collectible vintage item. But because they were previously overlooked by many collectors, you can still find a fine selection for a low price. And with all the online markets out there you'll find a constantly changing array of choices from plain to fancy. Want to match your kitchen decor? You can pick and choose and have fun collecting according to your tastes!
Each apron is unique.
Aprons first came into style out of necessity to protect clothing. Because times were hard, many people decided to add their own details to their plain aprons. They became a showcase for skilled embroidery, or nostalgic designs. A fancy apron was the icing on the cake to the presentation of a fine meal. Women would cook in more practical aprons, then switch to their showy aprons right before presenting the food. Vintage aprons can be found in cotton prints, sheer nylon, terry cloth and even lace. Some are made from handkerchiefs or dish towels and some are reversible. You'll see home made, hand made and mass produced aprons but chances are you won't see the same design twice.
Aprons have an interesting history.
Researching the history of aprons can lead you to find ones that are more collectible. The style of aprons have evolved quite a bit over the years. For example, in Victorian times aprons were long, because the dresses women wore were never above the knee. Washers and dryers did not exist and everything had to be hand scrubbed, so women would often wear the same dress for a week. Aprons helped to protect the clothing. In the 1920s and 30s, aprons were often made from chicken feed sacks. People did not waste things, and would use every scrap of fabric. The rest would be used to make quilts. Half aprons only became the norm in the 1940s and 50s, and had very elaborate and impractical designs, to show off while entertaining guests.
If you want to begin collecting vintage aprons there are a variety of markets and sources out there to get you started. Ask family members and friends if they have any older aprons tucked away in a drawer. Type "apron" into any search engine to bring up many pages of aprons of all kinds. You'll even see quality reproduction aprons made with vintage style fabrics. Check at your local vintage or thrift stores in the housewares section. A perfect apron is out there waiting to be found, Happy Hunting!
Fun Fact: Some researchers point to Biblical references as the earliest mention of aprons. They cite a passage in which Adam and Eve sewed together fig leaves to make aprons to cover themselves.