Nov 06 2010

Hello to Marilyn in South Carolina!
Thank you for sending this great tribute to Grandma’s Apron.

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 also easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons 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.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

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 folk 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.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

People now would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…

Lots of heartwarming thoughts with that e-mail circulating about. Although it’s one of those anonymous postings that’s traveled around the world because it strikes a chord with so many people, this one seems to have a beginning. I found what appears to be its origin here. And there are many links to enjoy in that on-line article, so set time aside to browse.

One thing, though, that needs to be updated from this article is how aprons are making a come back. The warmth and love that comes from the kitchen and good, nutritious food is not lost on the present generation. People are turning in droves to healthier lifestyles and eating at home with a seated meal at the dinner hour. Homemade biscuits and the aprons worn to catch the airborne flour are the natural accompaniments and it is a blessing they are showing up more and more. Just think of the memories waiting to be made! The old Pillsbury ad that said, “Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven” did say it best.

Welcome an apron back into your life, if they ever went away. Looking into the future of Sunbonnet Smart, I can forecast a great many apron patterns coming along. Cooking like your grandmother will get that much easier the minute you put one on and tie the strings around in back.

If you love aprons, the styles and the colors
like I do, then preview this book by hovering
your mouse over the link:

  The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort

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