Would you like to win a stunning apron for yourself or to gift to someone? Then enter our competition to win one! Simply read the interview below and answer the following question :- Where are the aprons made? Answers please via the form at the bottom of the page by 15th December. The winner will be chosen at random.

Aabelard are following a great British tradition of creating designs that never go out of style. You know what we’re talking about: the classic trench coat, the Savile Row suit, the unmistakable Little Black Dress.

Their founder, Philippa, likes to feel ready for the day by putting on her apron. But she began to wonder why it wasn’t good enough for the demands she made of it, in the kitchen, the garden, the workshop. Why, when she enjoyed clothes, did she have to cover them with something that didn’t look great?

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Why was she wearing something that not only looked ordinary but didn’t actually work like an apron should? Where were the deep pockets, the long straps, the generous cuts of fabric? Why all the floral prints and boring stripes? What if you’re particularly petite, or a taller, larger person? What was out there for men?

Everybody needs aprons, but many avoid them because they’re not the most stylish of garments.

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Philippa designed her aprons, hand-made the prototypes and tested them herself until she found the perfect fusion of utility and style. Aprons that not only do the work you need them to do, but do it beautifully. And we have one to give away!

An Interview with Philippa
How did the idea for Aabelard Aprons begin?
Aabelard came about for a number of reasons:

Firstly, I was looking for something to do that could re-define and re-inspire me; my three boys had reached an age where I had more time to myself (although my youngest is still only 7) and, like many mothers, I wanted something concrete and positive to do. I wanted to prove that I still had great things in me.

I have three boys and I think it’s vital that they have a positive and rounded view of women. I wanted them to see me being more than ‘just their mum’ (although there is no such thing as ‘just’ being a mum – it’s hard, hard work!)

But, if I could set up a business from an idea in my head and make it work, from concept, through to design, manufacture, marketing and sales – how great would that be?

I’d been on a leather-making course to learn how to cut and sew leather and to prototype some bags I’d had an idea for (that’s another story). I loved the process and decided to make something personal that I would use everyday – an apron.

As soon as I thought of it, I knew what I wanted them to look like and feel like, I knew the materials I wanted to use. I drew the pattern and, with some help, sewed the very first Aabelard apron.

Every time I put it on, I felt great. Plus everyone commented on it – friends, both male and female, loved it! People started trying it on and it looked great on men and women. Now, I’d had ideas before; I’d even made and tested prototypes before, but this was the first time that I couldn’t shake the idea from my head. Finally, my eldest son inspired me by bringing home a quote from Mark Twain that he’d been told about in school.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

As we were talking about the quote, I thought, if not now….when?

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How did you decide on the design for the aprons? What was your inspiration behind it?
The design grew out of the need to make something durable and useful. Aprons work hard – you cook in them, clean in them, carry things in the pockets, garden in them; I did silversmithing and jewellery making in mine. They need to wrap around you, protect you and quite frankly, I’d never really found an apron that was properly up to job.

Plus, if like me you wear an apron a lot of the time, why shouldn’t you look fabulous in it too? I enjoy clothes so I wanted to make something that looked good with them rather than a bit silly. I designed the apron to frame the upper body and face and to wrap right around you. I made two different sizes to suit narrower and not-so narrow people and two different styles.

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Why did you choose Scottish Waxed Cotton? What makes it a good apron material?
Scottish waxed cotton is such a great fabric. It’s so robust but it moves and breathes too; as is heats up with your body temperature it begins to mould to your shape and tiny creases drop out. It has waterproof properties without being stiff – you can throw anything at it (literally) and it will take it. Plus it ages beautifully and with character.

The producer I work with is one of the world’s leading suppliers of waxed cotton and has years of tradition and heritage behind it which I think matches the Aabelard brand well. Plus, we’re a British made product.

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Why Italian leather?
I chose Italian leather because I think it’s the best. The breastplate is one of the key design features of the apron it the suppleness of the leather is vital. It has to bend and move with you and be so comfortable you don’t even know you’re wearing it. The leather we use is so soft it’s almost like a fabric, and will only look better with time.

Where are the aprons made?
The aprons are made in a small, traditional leather-making factory in Grantham, Lincolnshire. They specialise in producing luxury and bespoke bags and luggage but their skill set is so high that I knew I had to use them to make these aprons.

Is it important for people to care for the aprons in a certain way?

These aprons are designed to last but, like anything, the better you treat them the better they’ll look.

We suggest you use a leather protection cream on the leather portions just as you would use on a new pair of shoes. After a few years, you may want to re-wax the cotton.

Cleaning them is simple – you can either brush off any flour, mud etc or wipe them clean with a damp sponge. Sticky tape is great for cleaning off pet hair or the like.

What are your plans for the future of Aabelard?
My hope is that the Aabelard name becomes synonymous with style and substance. I’ve worked really hard to create something that people will want and will treasure. I’d like it to be a go-to brand for gifting in the luxury market – especially for those difficult-to-buy for or those with a love of food, gardening or who do crafts and live in an apron! The aprons can be customized so we can add an embossed logo for your bar, restaurant or shop. At the moment, we’re available exclusively online and that’s working well for us.

Aabeland Competition

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The competition will run from 24th November until the 15th December
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