Some people collect old-fashioned aprons. Vintage aprons like grandma used to wear…. It seems a rather humble item to collect, when other people search for rare artifacts or expensive antiques. Aprons combines nostalgia and ease of collecting to make it a growing collectible.
My mother and sister hunted for them at yard sales. Another good place to find these is at Goodwill stores and on eBay.
The photo shows my mom, Gail Lee Martin, with her apron display. She’s about to give her talk to a homemaker’s club about collecting vintage aprons.
Mom would string up a clothesline and pin her aprons on it to display them for the talk. She would read her story about her mother’s apron which really tugged at the heartstrings of her audience. Then she would get them to share their own stories.
Part of the program was an apron fashion show. She let them pick out an apron to model while told about the style or history of the one they were wearing.
You can preview part of My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing Up in 1930s Kansas online.
As part of her talk, she gave tips on taking care of vintage aprons. Most old aprons are too fragile to just toss into your clothes washer and dryer. You may need to hand wash them. Regular laundry detergent is too harsh so look at the cleaners used by quilt collectors. The same techniques for handling a vintage quilt will work for old aprons.
Here’s a video showing a talk about antique aprons:
Here’s Mom with her award for the apron story.