Spring always makes me want to break out the vintage aprons. I think it’s because they have such cheerful colors and patterns.
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Last year, I came across this vintage apron, which was being sold by Bonny Gavel, a dealer at Stone Soup Antiques, and my heart melted on the spot. Perhaps it’s because I associate vintage aprons with homemade pies, jams, or tarts. Perhaps it’s the quaint patterns and images on these aprons. Whatever the reason, these cute little vintage aprons always draw me in.
I have always thought it would be fun to host a garden party with my best friends and everyone could wear a vintage apron and cowboy boots. We could all work on planting containers full of herbs and sip homemade ice tea while eating lavender tea cake. I think this type of event would be excellent reason to wear a vintage apron.
This apron shown above was a particularly good find because it is in excellent condition, with no holes or stains. It also is made of a gauzy material that has the cutest print with little birds on it.
When I arrived home, I had to put it on my dress form, whom I have named Isabelle. If you look closely, you can see that the pattern on the apron is made out of little birds.
That little pocket on the side is also adorable and I love the green trim.
Collecting vintage aprons is so fun and easy. They are relatively affordable and there is such a great variety of aprons. Another bonus, aprons don’t take up a lot of space and are light weight.
Here are some tips for buying vintage aprons
Collecting Vintage Aprons
Tip 1: Condition Matters
Try to find aprons that are in excellent condition. This is more difficult than it sounds. Aprons by their nature and purpose were meant to protect the clothing underneath. The whole purpose was to absorb splatters, spills and even to help dry damp hands. So often, aprons will have stains, spots and even the occasional hole. Another flaw to look for is rips and/or tears. Sometimes the apron strings in the back are separating from the rest of the apron. Similarly, sometimes the pockets are partially torn off the front of the apron. When you find an apron, inspect it carefully to determine its condition.
Tip 2: You Have to Hunt for Them
You would think that given the popularity of these aprons decades ago, that they would be easy to find. Well . . . yes and no. There are some dealers who specialize in finding, cleaning and selling these aprons. However, if you don’t know someone who specializes in selling vintage aprons, then finding these aprons can be a challenge. Finding these aprons means sorting through boxes of vintage linens, looking at all the vintage clothing that is hanging on a rack and generally just being thorough in your search. I have had good luck finding them at church sales, multi-dealer antique shops, and of course, online,
Tip 3: Look for Images not just patterns
Of course, aprons have changed significantly over the decades. In the 1930s and early 40s, housewives often made aprons out of flour sack fabrics. These fabrics had tiny prints on them in a repeating pattern. In the 1960s, aprons tended to include ruffles. The aprons from the 1970s – definitely look like something from that era. Think – orange and avocado green aprons.
Those vintage aprons that have images of animals or flowers tend to be more popular, particularly if they are embroidered. Finding an apron that is one uniform color or pattern – think gingham- is a little easier than finding one with images like flowers, animals or even food items.
Tip 4: Prices
Generally speaking, vintage aprons are affordable. Depending upon the age, condition and character of each apron you will usually spend between $10-$40. If an apron is truly an antique piece, meaning it is at least 100 years old, it will likely cost more. If an apron is from the 1970s, it likely will cost less. Finally, as noted above, condition and design also factor into the price. If an apron is truly unusual, then you should expect to pay more.
Vintage Aprons Online
I did some research for you and here are some links to some other vintage aprons you might like.
Here is one final photo of my favorite vintage apron. I hope you are now feeling inspired for spring. Thanks for stopping by the blog today!