Carolyn Ellertson has collected aprons for over 40 years. In Up Close and Personal with Vintage Aprons Carolyn shares her collection, her memories and situates these textiles with a cultural context.
I have found no other medium which covers a broader section of the needle arts for a longer period of time, is international in scope, transcends language barriers and is as individual as the person who makes them. They are like fabric fossils which if analyzed can give many clues to their origin, period of time they existed in and materials available at the time – one of the few ways of dating them. Their fabric content, design and embellishments reflect professions, textile trends, politics, holidays, age, needle arts, special interests and even the military. Worn by caregivers, they are symbols of care and relief; by homemakers, the knowledge that your needs are being met by someone who cares; by children, anticipation of a new learning experience or the fun of a favorite hobby; and by artists who will leave something that might, quite possibly, outlive them – in some cases for centuries.