When you buy a pair of new work boots it is very uncomfortable to go to work wearing those. The boots are too tight and they almost bite into your flesh, giving...
Aprons Demystified - A Detailed Guide
Aprons are an integral part of workwear for people in different industries. They are easy to handle and offer you excellent protection and sufficient storage space. In this article, we’ll detail their features, different types, uses, cleaning and maintenance, and even provide you with an FAQ. Read on to find out how an apron could benefit you!
Features Of Aprons
Premium quality aprons from the best brands come with a list of desirable features, some of which are listed below for your reference.
The quality and longevity of an apron will depend on the type of materials used to manufacture it. Leather, canvas, and cotton are the three most popular fabrics used to make aprons. Canvas comes in different varieties, but the thick and waxed type is the most robust. The weight of the apron needs to be around 10to 12 ounces for light- to medium-intensity work. For high-intensity tasks, you need to go for aprons that weigh at least 20 ounces.
- Straps and build
Premium aprons will come with an excellent build so that they sit comfortably on top of your regular clothes. The straps are well-designed and constructed securely to ensure a great fit. The grommets and rivets are robust, and there is double stitching along the seams and joints to ensure additional strength.
- Comfort and protection
Good quality aprons are comfortable to wear and do not feel too stiff or scratchy against your skin. Some aprons come with filling and may need some amount of breaking in to give you the best kind of comfort.
Premium aprons are also resistant to hot oils, chemicals, flames, and other hazards that might come your way while you work. The protective features are very important as you need to choose the type that guards you against the possible hazards of your job.
- Pockets and storage space
Aprons are usually equipped with lots of storage space so that you can keep your tools and equipment on you while you work. Pockets can be open or closed with velcro flaps or zippers. Make sure that they are rivetted well or come with double stitching so that your metallic tools do not accidentally poke or tear the pockets.
Most work aprons are constructed to hold up well against wearing and weathering issues. They’re easy to clean and maintain too. With proper care from your end, your apron will last you for a long time without any kind of problem.
Types Of Aprons
Aprons can be segregated into various categories based on the type of materials used to manufacture them.
- Cotton aprons
Cotton aprons are lightweight, skin-friendly, and comfortable. They are easy to handle and do not add much bulk to your frame while you work. However, cotton soaks up water very well so it is not suitable for wet environments. Usually, it is used in homes, schools, bakeries, and other dry environments.
- Leather aprons
Leather aprons are very popular due to the range of protective features they are equipped with. They are also highly durable and can serve you for multiple seasons without showing any signs of wearing. Leather is naturally waterproof and well-suited for people whose work exposes them to light chemicals, small sparks of fire, heat, wetness, and other similar risks. People working in various factories often choose leather aprons to ensure their safety.
- Canvas aprons
Thick and waxed canvas aprons are quite popular due to the combination of comfort and protection that they bring. The dense weave prevents injuries and accidents from the sharp tools and equipment with which you may work. Craftsmen, woodworkers, carpenters, hobbyists, etc. usually prefer canvas aprons at work.
- Rubber or nylon aprons
Rubber and nylon aprons are heavier than their cotton counterparts but they are also more protective. These aprons are waterproof and resistant to various liquids. People working in industrial settings often prefer rubber or nylon aprons as they are resistant to water and liquid. They can protect your skin from harmful chemical spills and your clothes from getting ruined by paints and dyes.
- Blended material aprons
There are other types of aprons made of blended materials like plastic, rubber and cotton, coated polyester, etc. These aprons are designed keeping in the mind the kind of protection you would need at work. Plastic aprons are particularly useful in environments in which you deal with toxic substances and need to dispose of the aprons immediately after use. Such aprons are also called disposable or single-use aprons.
Based on the design, aprons can also be classified into the following types.
- Waist aprons
Waist aprons are also known as server aprons and they do not provide any upper body coverage. You can tie them around your waist and the length usually ends before touching your knees.
- 4-way aprons
4-way aprons are also waist aprons but they contain 4 layers. If the first layer gets soiled, then the wearer can turn the apron around and use the next clean surface. This type of apron reduces the frequent laundering needs of a professional.
- Bistro aprons
Bistro aprons are like waist aprons in the sense that they do not provide any upper body coverage. But these aprons are much longer, providing good coverage for the legs. Also, bistro aprons come with pockets to hold your tools.
- Bib aprons
Bib aprons are full-size aprons that cover the upper as well as the lower body. There are straps for you to tie along the waist as well as a neck loop to hold up the bib. These aprons can protect you from spills and backsplash while you work.
- Tuxedo aprons
Tuxedo aprons are more formal versions of bib aprons that come with a neat and starched look. Employees in customer-facing roles usually wear these aprons since they provide a nice and tailored look.
- Cobbler aprons
Cobbler aprons are also known as smock aprons. You need to slide your head through a hole in the middle and the apron covers both your back and front. These aprons are waist or mid-thigh in length. You can tighten the fit using the strings in the middle.
- Dishwasher aprons
Dishwasher aprons come in full-length designs as they need to protect you against large amounts of water or liquid spills. The material is usually waterproof and in some cases flame-resistant, heat-resistant, and cut-resistant too.
Uses Of Aprons
Aprons are an essential part of work gear as they protect you as well as your clothes. Many jobs require you to wear protective aprons and some of the most common uses of aprons are listed below. The material and design of an apron usually change with the use of the apron.
- Kitchen, bakeries, and restaurant workers
Aprons are used in kitchens, bakeries, and other food-preparing hubs. Restaurant and hotel staff also wear aprons during their shifts.
- Woodworkers, handymen, and carpenters
Woodworkers and carpenters need to deal with a lot of dust and wood shavings. They also use various sharp and dangerous tools. Handymen like plumbers and electricians often expose themselves to dirt, grease, and grime during their work hours. So aprons are very useful for them.
- Craftsmen, blacksmith, ironsmith, and other industrial workers
Craftsmen, ironsmiths, and others often do heavy-duty work surrounded by sharp equipment and other hazards. They wear thick and protective aprons to protect themselves against possible injuries, dirt, and grease.
- Butchers and meat industry workers
Butchers, packers, and other employees in the meat industry need to deal with blood, fat, and a lot of mess regularly. They wear aprons to guard their clothes against spills and themselves from accidental injuries from the sharp tools.
Gardeners need to work with a lot of mud, soil, seeds, and all kinds of dirty things. Also, they need to work with various kinds of tools like scissors, shears, mowers, etc. so aprons with multiple pockets and chambers suit them the most.
- Chemical factory workers
Those working in chemical manufacturing factories are exposed to various risks from acids, alkalis, and other harmful chemicals. Wearing aprons can help protect them from grave injuries.
- Welders and metalworkers
Welders and other metalworkers need to work with fire and high heat. They wear fire-resistant, thick aprons that can resist heat as well as sudden pokes of sharp tools and equipment.
- Barbers, tattoo artists, and beauty industry workers
Hairdressers, tattoo artists, beauticians, and others in similar professions have to handle a lot of messy colors. So, they wear aprons to guard their skin and clothes against the dyes, hairs, creams, etc.
- Hospital and laboratory employees
Hospital and lab employees need to wear aprons to guard themselves against possible spills.
Cleaning And Maintenance
It is fairly easy to take care of work aprons. Since you will be exposed to dirt, grease, and grime, they’ll get badly soiled. Before you wash them, make sure you read the manufacturer’s label for special instructions.
If there are hardened stains, you can use a detergent to pre-soak and spot-clean the areas before tossing your apron into the washer. It is better to not use bleach or harsh detergents as they tend to ruin the structural integrity of the fabric. Use a good quality detergent and the warm cycle to wash your apron in the washing machine. Tumble dry on low heat settings or air-dry it on the line. Iron out the creases and your apron is ready for work again.
- What are the advantages of waxed aprons?
Waxed aprons are much easier to clean and maintain than the unwaxed varieties. Anything from dust, dirt, and debris do not stick to the surface of a waxed apron. Brush away the dry particles and then wipe it with a damp sponge and your apron will be cleaned.
- How do I decide what fit and length of an apron will be the best for me?
Aprons usually come in a single size that fits all. It is not a complete garment for you to wear and there are attached straps to tighten the fit to the right degree around your shoulders and waist. The length of the apron is an important parameter, and should be chosen based on the kind of work you do. If your job creates spills only on the lower portion of your body, an apron that extends from the waist down is alright for you. However, if your work tends to mess up your shirt too, then get an apron that covers your torso as well as the lower part of your body.
- What is the right way to use the straps?
Aprons come with straps so that you can adjust the fit. Tie the aprons in a manner so that they sit firmly around your body but not too tightly. Straps may come with buckles or velcro straps and you need to make sure they distribute the weight of the apron correctly without straining your neck or shoulder muscles. Some of the heavier aprons come with padded straps to ensure your comfort.
Aprons are used by many professionals to protect their work clothes from spills, cuts, pokes, and other issues. Premium quality aprons are made of excellent materials, provide ample protection and comfort, come with adjustable straps, roomy pockets, and are highly durable. Popular materials used to manufacture aprons include cotton, canvas, leather, nylon, rubber, and various blends. Based on the style, you can classify aprons as waist, 4-way, bistro, bib, tuxedo, cobbler, and dishwasher aprons. Aprons are hugely popular with people working in different professions like woodworkers, bakers, chefs, restaurant workers, handymen, craftsmen, welders, metal workers, factory workers, gardeners, barbers, and beauticians. Regarding cleaning and maintenance, aprons are a breeze! Your regular detergent and washing machine are good enough to keep them clean and well-maintained.
We hope this article has helped inform you of the different types of aprons and what they can do for you!
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