Embroidery Service
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Embroidery Service
(*from just £2.50)

Free UK Delivery
(*on orders over £75)

UK Manufactures
since 1950

Speedy Delivery
on all Stocked Items

How to wear: Striped aprons

Aprons have been used to distinguish between specific trades for hundreds of years – none more so than the British butcher’s striped apron.

In fact, tradesmen in general were called ‘apron men’ – butlers wore green, cobblers wore black, weavers wore blue, and barbers became synonymous with chequered aprons.

But it’s the boater-wearing, striped apron butchery brigade which tends to stick in most people’s minds.

They seem to have slightly fallen out of fashion in the meat trade these days but are still seen in outlets – particularly artisan independents – wishing to remain loyal to this historic butchery tradition.

However, they’ve grown in popularity within hospitality both in the kitchens of restaurants and bars and are frequently worn front of house by serving staff in trendy cafes, bistros and eateries.

A slice of butcher’s striped apron history

Dating back to the 16th century, the striped apron didn’t just carve out the identity of the butcher, it also represented their expertise and standing.

Some say the phrase ‘to earn your stripes’ doesn’t have military roots at all, instead deriving from the butcher’s apron – the broad stripe signifying a master butcher and a thin stripe an apprentice.

And it didn’t end there. A standalone broad stripe meant the butcher had grafted his way to the top, learning along the way. A board stripe and a narrow stripe meant he was apprenticed through his trade. An apprentice-cum-master with three stripes meant he was training apprentices… and so it went on!

Along with the straw boater and white coat, legend has it the apron became the industry trademark after being introduced by the Butcher’s Guild in York in 1540.

The blue and white stripes are said to have been taken from the Butcher’s Guild blue and silver crest.

Just as today’s uniforms help to instil pride, confidence and self-esteem in the wearer, the striped apron represented progression and was seen as a sense of achievement and something to aspire to by the young butchery apprentices.

Hardly surprising as back in the day an apprenticeship lasted seven years!

While you’ve no idea whether a butcher has earned his stripes these days as you pick up your pound of sausages or Sunday joint, striped aprons still give an air of quality and professionalism.

And they’ve inspired a whole generation of hospitality and catering teams to adopt the same professional aesthetic only now it’s more of a fashion statement than a demonstration of expertise.

A timeless classic

As a traditional bib apron, the butcher’s stripe version is the perfect full body protection in the kitchen offering excellent coverage while minimising the appearance of splashes and spills in comparison to its lighter coloured equivalents.

It helps to keep chef jackets and whites clean and hygienic, particularly when preparing a mix of raw and cooked ingredients.

Front of house it’s a popular choice for serving staff and baristas, often helping to enhance a trendy artisan aesthetic within bistros, brasseries, and coffee shops.

 

The Harveys Butchers Stripe Apron is ideal for hospitality professionals and butchers alike.

Available in traditional blue and white or a more contemporary black and white stripe, it’s made from 100% cotton and can be washed industrially up to 85 degrees.

Get personal

Striped aprons are the perfect canvas for personalisation.

With our bespoke embroidery service, you can easily add names and logos to elevate this simple yet extremely versatile item of food industry workwear.

From butchers to chefs and baristas the wearer’s name or your business branding can be expertly stitched in any position – for example, centre chest or bottom left or right – according to your specifications and artwork.

As a longstanding and trusted supplier of high-quality workwear and uniforms right across the food and hospitality sectors, we offer a wide range of styles and sizes to cater for all your teams.

Why not browse our chef and kitchen and hospitality ranges today and simply click the ‘add embroidery’ button during the ordering process to enhance and elevate your workwear choices.

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