Aprons have been used since ancient times, first by craftsmen working with potentially dangerous materials such as metal and glass, then later by cooks and household workers. The garments worked well for tasks associated with cooking, such as carrying firewood or eggs.
Aprons are typically part of uniforms for several types of workers including nurses, housekeepers, hair stylists and restaurant servers. Depending on the apron's particular purpose, they can be made from various materials, including lead for protection against radiation and rubber for protection against chemicals. Styles vary, with some aprons covering only the waist down while others also cover the chest. The word apron comes from the French word "naperon."