From Ready Nutrition:


When one thinks of tools and work clothes for the homestead, aprons don’t usually come to mind, but they should.  A good apron, like a good knife, is an essential homesteading tool.  And like a knife, care should be taken to choose the right apron for the right job.

Aprons in History

For most of us, we associated aprons with 1950-1960’s TV shows.  Loving, nurturing and ever-patient Aunt Bee (Andy Griffith Show) in her full-coverage pinafore aprons and bib style aprons or Harriet Nelson (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) in her sometimes frilly and always fashionable waist apron.  By the 1970s, we started seeing the second wave of feminism.  From a 1970’s Time Magazine article titled, “Who’s Come a Long Way, Baby?” published August 31st:

“They want equal pay for equal work, and a chance at jobs traditionally reserved for men only. They seek nationwide abortion reform — ideally, free abortions on demand. They desire round-the-clock, state-supported child-care centers in order to cut the apron strings that confine mothers to unpaid domestic servitude at home. The most radical feminists want far more. Their eschatological aim is to topple the patriarchal system in which men by birthright control all of society’s levers of power — in government, industry, education, science, the arts.” (Emphasis mine).

Aprons were now associated with domestic servitude and fell out of favor.  It wasn’t until recent years that the apron has seen a revival.  Today, there are many styles of aprons to choose from or can be made from scratch.

The Right Tool for the Job

 Homesteading is messy work!  In any given day, one could find themselves washing dishes, canning jams, feeding chickens and gathering eggs, gardening, constructing livestock shelters, or welding.  An apron protects your clothes, keeps them clean, and can add an extra layer of protection for your own skin.  But which is best for which job?

Waist Aprons

Waist aprons tie around the waist, are typically of a lighter material, and serve to protect one’s clothing from the waist to either the mid-thigh or knee length.  They can have pockets or not or be made with slot-type pockets for small tools.  There are even waist aprons with specialized pockets (called Eggprons) for gathering eggs.  Here is a pattern to make an eggpron with a pillowcase. Waist aprons are also the choice for the Hostess with the Mostest- adorable vintage or holiday themed waist aprons can be found on many online sites.

Pinafores and Bib Aprons

These aprons offer the most coverage for dirty household jobs.  Pinafores are full-style aprons similar to what was worn ala “Little House on the Prairie”- full front coverage down to the knees (or lower), wide enough to wrap around behind, and secured with ties or buttons.  The shoulder straps are wide like a sleeveless dress.  Bib aprons still offer good coverage, but aren’t as constrictive.  The lower portion is similar to a waist apron, but the front of the chest is covered by a bib (like bib…

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