Historical information

One of a collection of fourteen items of protective wear and household textiles donated by Lisa Sylvan, a long-term resident of Kew, Five of the items are homemade aprons made and worn by her mother. Of the seven pinafores, three identical but differently sized pinafores were made in her parents' factory, while the other three are handmade. The handmade aprons and pinafores are representative samples of women's work, possibly from published patterns, using fabrics originally deigned for dresses. Typically, contrasting fabrics and colours were selected to provide visual interest. The donation also includes a hand embroidered linen supper cloth and a commercially produced 'birds of Australia' printed table cloth. Most of the collection derives from the 1950s.


Although not uncommon, hand-made protective clothing in the form of aprons and pinafores often represents samples and styles of 'women's work' using remnant fabrics often designed for other purposes. While generally utilitarian, women found means of gracing these items by the use brightly coloured fabric or patterns, the positioning of pockets and the use of contrasting fabrics to provide visual interest.

Physical description

Pink and white cotton apron highted with blue braid.