Thursday, January 8, 2009

About Aprons


One of the women in my online Thimbleberries group passed this story on to us the other day and I wanted to share. I've tried to find the originator to attribute it to, but although I've found various versions here and there on the internet, I haven't come across the author, so if you have any information about that, please leave a comment--whoever wrote it deserves all the credit!

THE HISTORY OF APRONS

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.


The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.


When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.


When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ' old-time apron' that served so many purposes. People would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. But you know what? I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron . . . but Love!!

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And do you know about National Tie One on Day? The idea is lovely, even if you don't wait until November 25, 2009, to do it!

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The apron in the above photos is a late Christmas gift from my dear friend Eileen. Won't this be fun to wear for Spring?! My favorite part? See those buttons? Vintage! Even Hubby noticed them and commented! Thank you again, Eileen!

And thank YOU for stopping in to visit! Do you have memories of your mother or grandmother wearing an apron when she tended to the household chores?

11 comments:

Suzan said...

Your gift is lovely! I love wearing aprons in the kitchen because I am a total slob in there and I would be covered in grease and/or flour if I didn't! My grandmother and great-grandmother always wore aprons. My favorite memory is my great-grandmother's pullover type apron with large pockets all across the front. I think she wore a couple like that as she had one on everytime I saw her. The only time she took off an apron was to go out of the house. Anyway, in one of those big pockets there was always a quarter for me. Big doings when you are 7 years old. (BTW, I have one of those aprons of her's and I cherish it!)

Lorraine said...

My mum and grandma both wore aprons and I can remember Mum collecting the eggs and carrying in fruit from the orchard...and using her "pinny" (as we called an apron) as a pot holder at times...and I can still see her untying it as she went out the door to go out.....sometimes it got left on by mistake...I have never worn a pinny but should because I am pretty messy in the kitchen!!..oh and I have a wonderful one that was sent to me in the cupcake swap..it is too nice to get dirty tho!!

Nancy said...

When my grandmother passed away I snagged all of her handmade aprons. One Christmas, I presented each of my sisters one of them. (I felt guilty keeping them for myself) I well remember her wearing them when we visited.

Judy said...

Oh my grandmother was never without the apron on for all those reasons. Being an only child I never saw the kids wiping stuff, but I remember her bent over the garden always grabbing stuff and carrying it inside in the apron front. They wore dresses all day and that apron could come off in a second when the doorbell rang!

Every year for years my mom would pull out these seriously impractical frilly chiffon aprons for Thanksgiving and Christmas that stopped nothing, and wear them while we cooked food. They were actually more like a costume than a protector!

Lady of the Cloth said...

I distinctly remember a hall stand in my grandma's house where she would go twice daily and hang her apron, grab her hat and put it on, stick the hatpin through (I always wondered how she kept from poking herself), then put the sweater on, grab the purse (pocketbook) and head the down the block to mass. I wasn't a catholic, so it seemed odd #1 to go to church in the middle of the day/week, #2 just go to church and not dress up. She literally stopped in the middle of baking bread or making soup, etc. and then on the way back, the reverse happened and the old apron went back on, hat and pin back on the rack and back to work.

Annemiek said...

No apron legacy's here unfortunately. I can't remember my mum wearing one and I never do. At home that is; I work at a schoolcaterer and HAVE to wear one at work. Not a fancy one; a boring grey/black one.

Chocolate Cat said...

Don't think my mother would know what an apron was, my grandmother always wore one and I now do too!!! Seem to always get in a mess otherwise!

Mad about Craft said...

In the UK working class women wore a garment that was like an overall without sleeves. They were made from cotton and crossed over at the front and tied with ties. I remember both my grannies having. In the 60's nylon became all the range and overalls with sleeves and pockets became the thing for housewives to wear.
Women of my generation didn't really carry on the tradition of aprons but I've always worn one when I've cooked. My current one is heavy duty cotton with coloured spots on it and I love it.

Busy Little Quilter said...

I love your new apron! How sweet of Eileen to make it for you. I love the vintage buttons, too.

Yes, my mother wore an apron as did my grand mother (my dad's mom). I remember my grand mother carrying eggs in her apron, and I'm sure she did other things with it as well. She always wore an apron no matter what she was doing. I don't have any of my grand mother aprons, but I do have my mom's. I wear it when I'm baking cookies.

Anonymous said...

You've brought back amny memories of my grandma in her apron. My mom also wore the "seriously impractical frilly chiffon aprons for Thanksgiving and Christmas."
The apron Eileen made for you is very nice. She's a sweet lady.
Thanks for the memories.
Chris in Sacramento

Nan said...

I remember my grandmother always wore an apron, except when she left the house for shopping or church - in fact, I have a few of them, one which I wear on occasion. I have a thing for aprons, especially when I cook. I feel naked if I'm cooking or baking and don't have an apron on. I don't know the author of the apron history, but I always love reading it! The apron Eileen made is beautiful, buttons and all. What a treasure!
Lovely post, Kim.