Now generally considered protective garments for working people, aprons also have a long history as decorative items of dress, made from impractical fabrics decorated with lace and embroidery (See Related Item). This apron is a fine example of the purely decorative type, possibly worn, as was fashionable in the early 1880s, for light duties in female company or afternoons at home. It has been constructed by hand of lightweight silk twill in a warm shade of pink and densely woven tambour- embroidered cotton dating from the late 18th Century. The delicate design is mainly limited to shades of light brown and its dark elements are of fine metallic thread, now tarnished with age. Tambourwork embroidery, particularly popular for accessories at this time, was worked with a long handled hook to produce continuous chain stitches on fabric stretched over a frame.