Collecting and Caring for Vintage Aprons for Women
As America embraces its cooking muse via Food Network and other cooking venues, vintage aprons for women are increasingly collectible. Retro styled aprons are eagerly purchased but some women like to go a bit further and hunt for the real thing.
Collecting Vintage Aprons
A vintage apron has a certain style. The fabrics are unique and the patterns are often complex with ruffles, shaped pockets, and special trims. Some of these patterns and fabrics are no longer available so a vintage apron can give you a look that no reproduction apron can. Who knows? Maybe the vintage apron was worn by some amazing country cook and will imbue you with special mad cooking skills!
It may take time to find just the right apron, or a collection of vintage aprons for each day of the week and maybe holidays as well. Maybe you only want a few or perhaps you will pick one up every time you see one and have an entire apron wardrobe.
Caring for Antique Aprons
Taking care of a vintage apron isn't too difficult but you won't want to throw it in the washing machine or dryer without some care.
- Always wash the apron on a gentle cycle or by hand with a gentle laundry soap.
- Hang it to dry away from direct sunlight if possible.
- If there is a stain on it you might want to rub it with a little lemon juice and place it in the sun just the once, however.
- If you are going to be cooking with ingredients that tend to stain badly then do think about using another, more durable apron. Chocolate, tomato, plum, and oil can be especially difficult to remove.
- Many vintage fabrics need a quick going over with an iron to keep them looking their best. Use the iron on as cool a setting as you can and just touch up.
- Keep your clean, dry aprons folded in a drawer with just aprons in it. Hanging them for display may look great but that gorgeous sunlight streaming through your window will weaken the fabric pretty quickly.
Displaying and Decorating with Aprons
Although displaying aprons can weaken the fibers some collectors feel that it is worth it for the whimsical look that their collection adds to the kitchen. Here are a few tips to make it work.
- Try to keep the delicate fabric away from direct sunlight, heat, and greasy steam from your cooking area.
- If you want to use the aprons as a window treatment, use them over another fabric so that they are protected from sun damage.
- Wash them regularly. Dirt and dust will also weaken the fibers.
- Very old, or damaged aprons can be used in shadow boxes and hung on the wall.
Cost of Collecting Vintage Women's Aprons
The cost of a vintage apron varies. Some aprons, especially those found at garage sales and thrift shops, may be priced at a few dollars while others found at specialty vintage clothing shops will command prices up to $50.00 and more.
Keep in mind that the price is based on what the public will pay and it won't hurt to ask for a seller to lower a price on an item that you love. You should expect to pay more for older aprons, those in pristine condition, and aprons that are unique in some way.
You can always buy new aprons that are made to look vintage. Those by Jessica Steele are a good example of new aprons that use vintage patterns and retro look fabrics to look older. If you want an apron you should buy and wear it proudly!
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