I still put one on when I'm cooking. I can't stand getting fat or butter or anything else on my sweater .... it often cannot be removed ... I love aprons... interesting words below .... I can remember when I was a little girl I had a few aprons ... tied at the back with a big floppy bow. My uncle would come visit and he took great joy in pulling the bow undone as I walked by. I love him lots .. he's back in Australia and still going strong. Hello to you dear Uncle Henry.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, and it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material. Along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. It will be a long time before anyone invents something that will replace that "old time apron" that served so many purposes.
My mum (and me) would collect the apples and pears from our trees using our aprons to carry them back into the house, I'd take the pea shells out to the chickens in my apron ... and I certainly would gather up the kindling in my apron to take inside to light the fire .... so many more uses I'll probably remember soon.... gosh I was about 10 years old then...... :-))