What material should my cooking apron be made from?

Whether you are a chef at a fancy restaurant or simply creating a delicious meal for your family, you will be needing a particular kind of garment cover—the apron. An apron is essential to keeping your clothes protected from the various grills, spills, and frills often encountered in the kitchen; however one may often wonder as to what kind of apron would be best suited.

Ideally, you would want to find the least restrictive material with the necessary amount of protection required for the job at hand. Aprons can be made out of many types of materials including cotton, denim, plastic, rubber, nylon, and even leather.


Cotton, which is what most aprons are made out of, is lightweight and easy to move around in. The material is breathable, giving it the ability to keep the wearer cool in high-heat environments.  Unfortunately, cotton is also porous and therefore best kept to areas that stay relatively dry. An apron in this fabric is ideal for the average household chef where comfort and mobility are important, while the mess is minor.

Rubber or Nylon

However, if you will be working with liquids, it may be best to opt for a waterproof material such as rubber or nylon. Thick and sturdy, rubber and nylon create the ultimate protection barrier between a chef and his kitchen. Not much is going to get through them, which is also the downside to this choice.

The material here is heavier, allowing for less mobility, in addition to keeping heat from escaping unlike the breathable cotton. These aprons can be confining and uncomfortable, though often necessary. Rubber and nylon are best suited for industrial kitchens where chefs may be handling a large array of wet substances on a daily basis from soups and sauces, to cleaning compounds.


Wish everything you wear could be as resilient as your jeans? Denim can be considered a hybrid in regards to the pros and cons listed above. Tougher than cotton yet still breathable, the durable denim material allows for functional comfort. Many restaurants are starting to incorporate denim as the fabric for their team due to its versatility–and hey, it’s fashionable!


Lightweight, water-proof, durable…but what about fire-resistant? When working in front of a large, open flame it might be best to consider purchasing a leather apron. Leather, though not very breathable, is able to resist minor fire exposure well. Sturdy and strong, this material can be a life-saver to those cooking in dangerous environments.

With so many material options to choose from, it is important to take a moment to think upon the tasks you will be handling and the sort of protection you require. Are you looking for something that suits the daily cooking tasks in your home? Or would you prefer protection from a potentially dangerous situation?  Whichever environmental challenges you may face in your kitchen, it is always a good idea to glance over some of apron selections available to you before you make you final decision.

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