What Are The Types Of Apron?

An apron is an apparel that is worn over other clothing and usually covers the front of the body and offers protection from spills. The origin of the apron is believed to be when men started taking pieces of cloth and tying them around their waist, to protect their outfits while working. The word apron comes from old French word napron meaning a small piece of cloth; however, over time napron became an apron.


  1. The Traditional Apron
    The traditional apron is the most common type of apron. It is typically made from a cotton or linen material and covers the front of the body from the chest to the knees.
  2. The Half Apron
    The half apron is similar to the traditional apron, but it only covers the front of the body from the waist to the knees.
  3. The Bib Apron
    The bib apron is another common type of apron. It is similar to the traditional apron, but it has a bib that covers the chest and shoulders.
  4. The Disposable Apron
    The disposable apron is a less common type of apron that is typically made from paper or plastic. Disposable aprons are often worn in medical settings to protect clothing from exposure to bodily fluids.

The apron has evolved over the years into many different styles of aprons for various uses, including as part of a uniform or as a decoration, adornment, or ceremonial garb. Some of the most popular aprons today include bib aprons, bistro aprons, cobbler aprons, waist or server aprons and maid aprons.

White short sleeve unisex smock

Aprons and smocks are sometimes confused as the same garment. Smocks are loose, lightweight, sleeved garments, often worn to protect the clothes while working. Artists traditionally wore smocks to protect their clothing from paint. A smock is a complete garment, like a loose-fitting dress. Smocks are put on over the head, and they cover most of the body whereas aprons usually have a strap behind the neck and strings around the waist. Smocks are popular with teachers, doctors, technicians, painters, dog groomers, and pharmacists.

Bib aprons come in numerous colors, fabrics and styles.

Bib Aprons are the most common type of aprons to protect clothing while working. Bib aprons became a popular choice based on its practical design and full coverage. Bib aprons may have a strap around the neck, and/or shoulder straps that crisscross at the back and attach to the waist. Bib aprons are available in numerous colors and fabrics made to last for demanding work environments, including 100% cotton, 100% polyester, 100% spun polyester, 65% polyester / 35% cotton and cotton blends.

Bistro aprons designed for professional servers, cooks and kitchen staff.

Bistro Aprons are usually designed for professional servers, such as cooks and kitchen staff and are available in different lengths such as half bistro or full bistro apron. Kitchen staff often wear bistro aprons because they provide space to wipe their hands as well as offering full body coverage that protects staff from frequent spills and splashes. Bistro aprons are made of various fabrics including durable 100% spun polyester that are machine washable and available in different lengths and pocket configurations. Chef’s also wear chef coats or chef jackets for protection and a prestigious look.

Cobbler apron with center divided pouch pocket and adjustable side ties.

Cobbler Aprons cover the front and the back of clothing, can have pockets, and tie on both sides at the waist, providing effective protection for the front and back of clothes. Cobbler aprons are often made from polyester and cotton blends in a wide range of styles, sizes and colors that are machine washable.

Waist aprons are also known as server aprons.

Waist / Server/ Restaurant Aprons are usually short half aprons with handy front pockets that are popular with the restaurant industry. Because of its short style, waist/server aprons provides servers with easy movement. Aprons are part of the restaurant worker uniform and are often required in food production and serving areas only.

Aprons come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important to know which type of apron will work best for your needs. Whether you are looking for an apron to protect your clothes while you cook or one that can help keep you clean while you work in the garden, there is a perfect apron out there for you. Thanks for reading our guide on the different types of aprons!

Direct Textile Store® offers numerous aprons and smocks in a variety of fabrics, colors and styles for a wide range of uses. If you have any questions please use our Live Chat or call our customer service department Monday through Friday 8:30- 5:00 pm EST.

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