Friday, April 11, 2014

Vintage French Aprons - or are they?

Yesterday I found two vintage pinafore aprons - not at all in French style!
Frip' Relais, one of the two charity shops to the north of Toulouse, is holding a kind of retro-themed month, with lots and lots of 1970s stuff (much of it great fun, and with clothes in realistic sizes) out, in fun displays. I picked up the pink apron, and when I came to the till the woman there asked if I'd seen the second apron - well, I snapped that up too!
You can see that this pink one is much earlier than the 1970s. It reminded me instantly of feedsack aprons, made from the American grain and flour sacks which were printed with the most wonderful patterns from the 1930s to 1950s. There's a great article about feedsack dresses here on Etsy. This article gives some clues about how to check if your fabric really comes from a feedsack, and mine doesn't seem to be the 'real thing', but I still feel that the apron is so unlike the typical French style (either a butcher's apron like the one with red initials seen in my first photo, or a granny-jacket thing) that I feel there's at least some American influence here:
Terrible shot, but you can at least see how it looks when on. It fits perfectly!
The second one is red gingham, if it's American, or Vichy, if it's French! Cute but not a lot of coverage...
They are both hanging up in the kitchen with the French-initialed apron and a pretty blue and white half-apron that I was given in a blog swap several years ago. I don't think I'll wear them, as I rely on plasticised aprons with lots of coverage to keep me clean and dry!


Elizabethd said...

They are lovely...but somehow so 'un-French'! In Brittany it was all about wrap-around blue patterned aprons.

RedSetter said...

How sweet both are. Slightly impractical maybe but wonderful to have. Enjoy.

Lola Nova said...

Yes, I do think the pink is US in influence at the least, 1930's - 40's. The fabric is what you would typically find for the time and style of apron as well. The gingham is very interesting and I can't say I've ever seen one like it. Good finds no matter what the time and place!

Frances said...

I've found this post and the comments so interesting. Isn't it something how cultural history, domestic division, does have defining details?

I do like each of your aprons, and have begun to think about all the years in my long ago young adulthood when I never wore an apron in the kitchen.

Now I do, and still manage to collect regular supper prep splashings on at-home tee shirts and jeans that those aprons don't seem to quite cover. has its unpredictable moments.

I am getting a bit excited as I realize that Easter is now about a week away.

Best wishes to you and yours. xo

Debbie Moss said...

Beautiful vintage pins!
By the way I`m new at blogging and I`m looking forward to meet other people so I`m stoping by to say hello!
Warm greetings from England! :))

Kezzie said...

Happy Easter, dear Floss. I hope you are ok?! X

Chris said...

Hi Floss, I have a few vintage aprons in my little Boutique too but mine I don't think are as old as yours. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris