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Recently, aprons have been making quite a comeback. This seemingly lost tradition has once again captured our hearts and become a staple of culinary style. As restaurant servers lead the trend sporting fun apron designs, foodies across the country are trading in their lace trimmed smocks for a trendier and more functional archetype.  While style is subjective, the material you select for your apron is more of a science.  If you’ve recently shopped for aprons, then you know your choices for material are as infinite and the styles themselves.  So, which is best? The answer depends on the project.  Each type of project creates a mess unto its own, and therefore requires a unique material for protection.  Below is a guide for selecting the right material and type of apron for your culinary adventures.

Butcher’s Apron

A butcher’s apron is primarily used in the breaking down and cleaning of animals, however people also use them when frying turkeys. Butcher work can be gross…and messy.  There is a lot of blood, feathers, scales, etc. and the tools used can be incredibly dangerous.  A scaly apron is not something you want to stick directly into the washing machine.  The best materials for this type of apron will be a waxed canvas, leather, or a waxed thick denim.  Not only can you rinse these off easily before sticking them in the wash, but the coarse material gives you a little protection, should the saw slip.  Leather, Canvas, and denim are all durable materials that can take the beating of extreme butcher work.

Dish Washing Apron

This may be the least sexy of the bunch, but it’s one of the handiest. Every cook must clean his kitchen. For any of us who’ve ever had the brilliant idea to knock out a few dishes before heading out the door, only to instantly regret it, this is a must have. Typically, a vinyl or nylon material will do for this type of work. This is a great versatile option for a ton of household chores.  From power washing the windows to bathing your toddler, the possibilities are endless.

Cooking and Baking

Cotton and Linen are great options for everyday cooking and baking.  You want to choose a lightweight cotton that is breathable. It can get hot in the kitchen and a heavy leather or canvas might quickly become uncomfortable.  You can also look for a slightly denser cotton, such as twill, with a waxed finish for the added waterproofing benefit. This is also a good choice for grilling.

Aside from material, there are a few other points to consider.  Everyone loves a handy pocket, and aprons are no different.  Choosing an apron with hip pockets allow you to stash a towel, oven mitt, or cell phone.  Look for an apron with a small pocket in the chest area where you can place a pen.  Also, purchasing an apron with an adjustable neck strap can be a big plus if you are petite or plan to use communally. Lastly, unless you’re a server, always opt for the bib apron.

That concludes our short list of the most commonly used aprons. From classic to flirty, wearing an apron seems to give us that bit of moxie we need to tackle a culinary project. So, whether you are a recreational hunter cooking up some game or a macaroon aficionado, rest assured there is a perfect apron out there just for you!



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