Once upon a time, on an Etsy shop I really like (Pontiac Dry Goods), I ordered this epic vintage apron. This cherished apron is made from selveged denim and still bears its original label: Union Hercules. After doing a little research, I discovered that Hercules denims were actually sold at Sears from 1908 to 1965 as one of the company’s most popular brands of work clothes. In fact, many women employed at defense plants during the Second World War sported Hercules dungarees. As it turns out, the denim in my apron is probably 70 years old – and has no doubt been through a lot. It’s fun to daydream the stories hinted at by those telltale signs of wear. If only these threads could talk!
UNION LABELS ON VINTAGE CLOTHING
These days, you’ll find union labels on quite a lot of vintage clothing. Those unions labels are used by many vintage shoppers as a way to validate the vintage era of the garment. Back then, companies would use union labels as an emblem to advertise that the employees who made the original products were represented by a labor union, thereby attracting customers who prefer buying union-made. A sure sign of an ethically made garment, imagine how great it would be to see this trend make a comeback for countries like Bangladesh, China and Cambodia as a positive sign of fair working conditions in clothing factories.
My vintage apron is more than just an article of clothing. It is a piece of history that inspired a snazzy Kinsu DIY denim apron. Stay tuned – something sweet is coming out of the oven!
May it live happily ever after;)