The royal blue garment, particularly used in agriculture, has become an integral part of South Tyrolean working life.
“A man without an apron is only dressed half” - this saying is still followed in many South Tyrolean villages and valleys. Like no other garment, the “blauer Schurz”, the blue apron, is an integral part of farmers’ and craftsmen’s working clothes. Up to the 19th century, the apron was made of white linen, then the durable cotton was adopted and the blue apron became the symbol of the farming community. Dressed over a chequered shirt, it was only exchanged for the traditional costume - the Lederhosen - on Sundays and feast days.
Following the tradition, every boy got his first blue apron on his first school day. It was embroidered with a nice picture or an original saying, which made it unique or indicated its wearer. Also every adult man had his own knee-length blue apron, which rendered a good service for years. In the evening, the left apron end stayed where it was, whereas the right one was lifted and tightened on the back - the work was finished for that day! Also during the Holy Masses, now and again a blue apron could be seen under a jacket.
The single characteristics and how to tie the blue apron may vary from one valley to the next, but still today it is a highly appreciated and durable workwear, which sometimes is even misused as a rucksack, a sowing basket, a bib or a towel. When walking past a fruit farm or a vineyard, you can still see something blue between the vines and the fruit trees. A blue apron is also a beautiful souvenir from South Tyrol - the perfect gift for a hobby chef, an amateur gardener or a grill master.