The History of Aprons

The Aprons have always been a symbol of hospitality. Whether worn by grandmothers preparing apple pie or used as a work uniform, these garments has had many uses. Throughout the ages, it has been used for a variety of practical, decorative and ceremonial purposes

What is an Apron?

Usually tied at the waist, an Apron is a garment made to protect the wearer's outfit. Over the decades, Aprons have been worn as uniforms or simply as fashion accessories.

The different types of Aprons throughout history

Throughout the centuries, different kinds of Aprons have been worn by housewives, workers, maids, and even ancient goddesses. Bib Aprons, Waist Aprons, Cross Back Aprons, and Japanese Aprons are some of the most popular styles. 

  •  The Bib Apron

The Bib Apron or Full Apron is the most popular style of apron. Also known as the "French Chef's Apron", it covers the entire length of the body, usually up to mid-thigh or knees. Slipping over the neck and attaching at the waist, Bib Aprons were originally made from scraps of fabric.

Bib Apron

  • The Waist Apron

The Waist or Half Apron is a traditional Kitchen Apron that attaches at the waist and extends to mid-thigh. In the past, it was chambermaids and housewives who usually wore this type of Apron. Nowadays, it is very popular in modern restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

Waist Aprons

  • The Japanese Apron

Known for their comfort and minimalist design, Japanese Aprons are made from a soft, flowing fabric (usually linen) and cut in a cross shape to facilitate freedom of movement. The crossed back is much more comfortable than bib aprons: it doesn't pinch you and does'nt have to be tied with a knot.

Japanese Aprons

There are also rarer types of aprons, such as the Tabards worn in medieval times. They cover both the front and the back of the body and are tied with side ties or at the waist. 

The origin of the apron: a long time ago

It is difficult to give a date of birth to the apron we know, but it is certain that it is closely linked to the workers of different eras. In the Middle Ages its primary function was to protect. Aesthetics at the time were of secondary importance. Worn by men and women, it was often made in linen and not really stylish : just practical.

Peasant, housekeeper, butcher or baker, everyone wore it! 

The apron, a reflection of its time

In the 19th century, the apron also reflected the social class. Worn by most of the servants, it was the work dress of the "maids". To cook, to wash, cleaning, to iron, to light the stove or to shine shoes, it was meant to wear for all tasks.

From the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the apron changed its appearance. The aesthetics of the apron came into play. Embroidery, floral, lace and quality fabrics of different textiles : it became a ceremonial garment

In the 1960's, the world changed a lot and so did fashion. No more aprons for the servants, it became the symbol of the middle class housewife. A pretty housewife, a good cook, preparing good food for her own family!


From the end of the 1960s, the society underwent profound changes. Household appliances revolutionized american kitchens, women worked more and more and gradually abandoned the kitchen apron, which had become an "anti-feminist" symbol.

Since the 2000s, the apron have become a more fashionable and trendy cooking accessory. Cooking has been a hobby for a lot of people and cooking in style has been important. The apron is now lightweight, made of different materials like denim, silk, wool, or more frequently polyester or poly cotton. It's adjustable, trendy, and has many designs and colors.

Characteristics and roles of the cooking apron

All cooks must wear a cooking apron. This is mandatory. This type of work clothing usually comes with a pocket and a bib
As for the role of the chef apron, note that it helps you to always stay clean during the preparation of the dishes. This work clothing allows you to be presentable throughout the day. In the kitchen, it protects you from splashes of oil, water, etc.. 

At Apron Central, we are experts in Aprons. We appreciate their role in many households, with those who work in restaurants, with barbers or even shoemakers. Our comfortable and meticulously designed Aprons are available in a wide range of patterns, colors and fabrics to suit restaurants, cafés, bars, bistros, hotels, florists or beauty salons. With our wide selection of Apron styles made from the highest quality fabrics, we are sure to have the right Apron to fit your specifications.

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