Aprons are a multipurpose item that everyone should have in their home. It is more than just a way to keep food off your clothing when cooking; they also protect clothing from harmful cleaning products like bleach that can ruin your favorite jeans or leggings.
The New Bremen History publication on the history of aprons states, "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." (http://newbremenhistory.org/Grandma's_Apron.htm)
There was a time in our not so distant past where clothing was a cherished commodity and avoiding deliberate acts to ruin ones' clothing with cooking or cleaning stains was paramount. Unlike today where clothing tends to be trendy and disposable, some people still have their favorites that they want to protect for as long as possible. Using an apron when cooking, cleaning, working in the yard, doing DIY projects like painting, or a host of other activities serves a multipurpose function.
For example, if you are having a yard sale, a waist apron is a convenient hands-free way to hold cash and receipts. Painting is another activity where an apron is very useful. How many articles of clothing have anyone that has painted, ruined from accidental drips and spills? When cooking, I always wear an apron for two major functions to protect my clothes and use the ties as a hangar for my towel.
If you have never used an apron for various activities around your home, give it try and see how useful they are. You may never cook or clean again without one.
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