Since early times, aprons have been used as some of the most modest and simple layers. The Bible itself speaks of Adam and Eve stitching leaves together to cover themselves. This covering was referred to as an apron. The English word apron actually came from the old French word for napkin or small tablecloth "naperon".
Aprons were originally developed as a practical way of protecting one's body against a diverse range of materials. Heavier aprons were made from thick material such as canvas and leather. These aprons were worn, mainly by men, whose professions ranged from butchers, carpenters, welders and blacksmiths. Indeed these thick protective aprons are still worn by many craftsmen in today's society. Aprons were also used in many other day to day chores such as cleaning and gardening, protecting the wearers' clothes from dust and garden dirt. The apron also doubled up as a suitable carryall - which made chores such as egg collecting, bringing in vegetables from the garden, and firewood collecting a less awkward task to carry out.
Aprons may be fashioned from a variety of materials. Oilcloth and PVC are used to manufacture household aprons, whilst rubber aprons are worn by persons working with harmful aprons, leather aprons are used by craftsmen and have many pockets to hold their tools, and lead aprons are worn by X-ray technicians who work in close proximity to radiation.
In contrast the chef apron was originally made from lighter materials, but they still serve the purpose for which they were intended. The chef apron not only serves to protect the wearer/clothing against spills and stains, it also serves to protect the wearer against hot liquids and sharp objects in the kitchen. Defending against scolds, the chef apron can be quickly removed to prevent boiling liquids used in the kitchen from fully penetrating the apron. The apron may also be reversed to hide unsightly spills. Handy when the head chef leaves the kitchen to meet his guests.
In modern times, it is safe to say, the profession most commonly associated with aprons are chefs, the chef apron being an integral part of the chef uniform. Chef aprons are traditionally white in colour, in keeping with the traditional colour of the chef uniform.
The apron, which was once made from subtle colours or colours denoting professions, is now made in a variety of colours and patterns. Over the past century more flair and imagination is being used when creating aprons matching the flair of individuals.