What To Look For When Buying A Leather Apron
When buying a leather apron, there are a few features to consider to help ensure the one selected will be comfortable, functional, and align well with personal preferences. Let’s look at a few below:
A softer leather generally provides more flexibility and allows for easier movement while wearing it. Sometimes, softer leathers are lighter in weight too. Stiffer leathers can be heavier, and offer more protection from heat and abrasions.
Leather Thickness (weight)
Thinner leathers are generally lighter and more flexible, making wearing them throughout the day easier. Thicker leathers are usually heavier, and provide more protection. This is helpful in more extreme work environments such as blacksmithing. Leather thickness is most commonly measures in “ounces”, where the “weight” of a piece might be describes as 3oz. A 3oz thickness of leather will be thinner than a 6oz thickness of leather.
Some heavier leather aprons will have break-in time. This is where the movements from wearing it will help make it more flexible and comfortable in the areas where the wearer moves the most. Since each person is slightly different, this will help break in the apron for that particular person, providing them with an apron that fits their individual movements very comfortably.
Physical weight of an apron can be a large factor. Some lighter aprons can be worn all day very easily. Heavier aprons, such as those used for blacksmithing and welding, require heavy, thick leathers which also make the aprons heavier. While necessary to help deflect heat and sparks, these can also be more tiring to wear for long periods.
One factor to keep in mind is the way the leather was tanned. Oil tanned leathers are usually heavier in general, as they contain heavy oils in the leather fibers. Leather tanned using a chromium tanning process do not have these oils, and thus can be lighter, even for the same thickness of leather. Thus, when looking for a thick, protective leather that is also light, chrome-tanned leather could be a helpful choice.
As with most garments, a proper fit will allow the wearer to enjoy the benefits of the apron, while also allowing for freedom of movement and use. Fit can include overall length, size, and the way the straps are used and can be adjusted to secure the apron to the wearer.
Expense is often a factor when purchasing an apron. One wants an apron that will perform well and last a long time, while also not being too expensive. As is often the cast, quality costs a little more, and custom leather aprons can be some of the most expensive. However, there is often a bigger-picture view that can be considered; if one will be working daily in an environment where a quality leather apron is essential to stay protected and perform quality work, then often it is well-worth the cost for one that fits well and works great.
How to care for Apron at Home
- When you’re not using your apron, hang it or roll it, don’t fold to ensure no lines or cracks will appear in the finish.
- Please take in account the following care & cleaning instructions. No warranty is implied since results may vary.
- Remove dirt by vacuuming with a brush attachment or dust frequently with a clean, dry cloth
- If the leather is soiled, it can be wiped with a soft, damp cloth using a lather of any mild soap with lukewarm or distilled water. Always try on an inconspicuous spot first
- Dry with a clean, soft cloth
- Do not spot clean the leather apron; always clean the entire surface
- Do not use saddle soap, cleaning solvents, oils, furniture polishes, varnishes, abrasive cleaners, detergents, or ammonia on the leather apron. These will ruin the finish causing it to become sticky and cracked