Which of these apron fabrics do you favour as a school or children's day nursery? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below.
A P R O N: Always Put Responsibility Over Negligence.
"Roll up your sleeves, aprons on, time to get creative!"
Those highly inspirational words of my form teacher way back in the days of primary school never ceased to fill me with overwhelming feelings of determination and positivity.
I recollect we had two sets of aprons: polycotton for domestic science and PVC for all art-based activities.
Even as a small child, I would often find myself marvelling at how much more protection the PVC apron afforded me and my clothes than that of the cotton drill variety.
On one occasion, disaster struck. I was nine at the time, happily minding my own business, standing at my work table, thoughtfully modelling something out of clay, when a small boy accidently staggered full pelt into my work table. He was carrying a plastic jug full of red paint at the time.
I shall spare you the graphic details. However, needless to say there was a mighty thud, followed by an anguished gasp from the boy as the jug he was cradling, flew clean from his hand and struck me squarely on the chest, sending out a tongue of paint that drenched my apron neck to hem.
Had I been wearing a cotton apron at the time, the consequences would have undoubtedly proved fatal, with the contents soaking through and immediately staining my sleeveless woolen jersey. Thankfully, the PVC apron saved my clothes on that occasion.
admitted, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) may not be the most environmentally friendly of the two fabrics with fewer options for recycling with the majority going to landfill. Nevertheless, PVC is longer-lasting, easy to clean, protects against moisture and bacteria and has the ability to retard flame.
Whereas cotton - a seemingly more child-friendly natural alternative, softer to the touch and breatheable - is a costly material to produce, averaging 7.8 megalitres of water per hectare. Regrettably, once woven, cotton aprons do not repell moisture in the same way as their PVC counterparts as in the above example, fail to protect against flame and invariably command lengthy sterilising routines involving washing at 90 degrees plus.
Yet, how we manage our plastic waste here in the UK is crucial. The greatest challenge came in the wake of China's recent decision in 2017 not to accept anymore imports of the UK's plastic waste.
It is understood that the UK Government is investing in new recycling projects. However, the end result for managing the vast quantity of plastic waste currently produced is a long way off, with 2042 set as the current date for achieving the country's present targets.
With more and more schools converting to plastic-free zones, the PVC apron may shortly fall out of vogue as a protective garment worn by pupils in the classroom, with many looking to more eco-friendly alternatives.
In the meantime, we'd very much welcome your thoughts on the cotton vs the PVC apron and which of these two options you feel work best for you as a school/children's day nursery.
When all said and done, a form of absolute protection really does help obviate negligence and the need for an apron of some description is most definitely essential, regardless.
All Shorts sells a variety of both PVC & Cotton bib aprons for Parents and Schools.
Parents: Click here.
Schools/Youth Groups: Click here.