Historical information

An apron is an outer protective garment worn over clothes to cover the front of the body. In Victorian and Edwardian times, women were using aprons for both utility (they were easier to wash than dresses) and fashion and women's magazines and pattern companies were offering patterns to allow women to be to sew their own aprons at home.

There are different styles of aprons including bib aprons, waist or half aprons, pinafores, tabards and pinner aprons. The word "apron" comes from the old French word "naperon" which means a napkin or small tablecloth.

This apron is one of two similar aprons that were donated from the estate of Susan Henry nee Vedmore (1944 - 2021). It is in very good condition and appears to be more decorative (and possibly used only on special occasions) rather than everyday wear. Susan's family (Harold and Gladys Vedmore) immigrated to Australia from Wales in 1955 and settled in Warrnambool. Susan was well known in the Warrnambool community for her work supporting children and families across the district - particular those with disabilities, or those who were homeless, unemployed or isolated. Susan was the founding trustee of the "Vedmore Foundation" - a Warrnambool philanthropic trust set up in 2010 to support a range of charitable and not-for-profit causes by providing grant assistance. In 2021, she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community.


This item is an example of clothing worn by working women in the late 19th and early 20th century

Physical description

Short white cotton apron featuring gathering along the waist band and a gathered frill with scalloped edging along the bottom. The scalloped trim is repeated on the edge of a single pocket on the right hand side. It has ties attached to both ends of the waist band and the main body of the apron is made of of three rectangular pieces of cotton joined with french seams.