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The Cobbler Apron - Familiar Memories

Probably one of the aprons that would get the dirtiest of all is a cobbler apron. We have all seen cobblers behind their counters at the local shopping centre, hammering, gluing and mending shoes. I would imagine that the reason the cobblers apron gets so dirty is because of all the shoe polish that has to be applied so often to so many repaired pairs of shoes.

Cobblers perform a multitude of different services for their clients, from re-heeling shoes, to putting patches on the soles or indeed re-soling shoes, fixing up scratches and rips to the leather, taking off parts of the shoes, re-stitching, etc. Often the cobbler these days will multi-task and do engravings and key cutting too. However these jobs are quite dirty jobs as well so at the end of the day, the cobbler will leave his kiosk much the worse for wear and quite dirty!

Of all the jobs that he does though, the dirtiest would be when he finishes off his chores by cleaning the shoes, rubbing them into a revolving brush that is covered in black shoe polish. This would get on their hands and would leave residue all over the front of them and their apron.

His apron would also need pockets to handle all the different types of tacks, small heels, patches, etc. that he would use during the course of mending shoes and cutting keys. This is one job that involves a lot of small spare parts and you need somewhere to place things where they will not get muddled up with everything else!

I know from my own personal experience on the domestic front that shoe polish is very difficult to remove from fabric so it is another of life’s mysteries as to why cobbler’s aprons always tend to be white! Black would be better surely?

There are many stories and myths surrounding cobbler aprons and many other kinds of aprons. To find out more you are invited to visit our web site which is dedicated to the humble yet sometimes majestic apron.