Welding is not as easy as one would expect. It is messy, and just as risky. Apart from ruining the clothes, you are also at risk of burning yourself while welding. Thanks to welding aprons, since these aim to make the job a lot easier.
Be it for welding, painting, or even cooking, a welding apron comes in handy in more ways than you can imagine. However, even professional welders tend to have difficulty choosing the right apron. Simply put, you should opt for an apron that combines the right amount of protection and comfort.
In this article, we will delve deep into welding aprons 101 and everything that you need to know before buying one. Scroll down below and dive right into it to know more!
What You Need To Know About Welding Aprons
Before we cut to the chase, it is important to know what a welding apron is. Welding aprons have been around for quite some time and the popularity of these only seems to be growing with time.
It is obvious that to work safely, you must need decent protective clothing. A welding apron is a self-protective tool that protects the front of the body from fire spatter during welding. It also works great to block out heat, fumes, and radiation while working. But not only that, but welding aprons also have pockets that help to carry welding equipment.
Like every other protective tool, welding aprons are available in a wide range of different designs and materials. Given that not all aprons are not the same, it is essential to look at the different options and select one that best fits your needs.
Why Should You Get A Welding Apron?
Needless to say, there are many reasons for getting a welding apron. As you already know, Welding aprons can protect your body from any harmful substance that could result in serious injury. It also helps keep your clothes steer clear of stains while working.
Protection Against Fire Sparks
While welding, it’s pretty obvious that there will be fire sparks flying and scattering in the wind. No matter how trivial the fire sparks might seem, they can lead to severe burns and injuries.
Wearing an apron before welding will work as a shield against the fire sparks, and thus save you from potential injuries.
Protect Against UV Radiation
Exposure to harmful UV radiation is also quite common in welding. This is also where welding aprons come to the rescue.
The most common type of welding aprons is the leather one consisting of cowhide and pigskin, which provides great protection against radiation.
Heat And Burn Protection
Moreover, the material of the welding apron is always stitched with threads that are made of Kevlar or Nomex. How does it help, you ask?
Well, these are highly heat resistant and flame enduring. It helps the apron to withstand heat for a longer period of time. This means that you can continue your welding work safely without having to worry about burning your body.
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Protection Against Splatter
Splatter is a common issue in welding and happens more often than you think. This is especially common in gas welding. Sometimes when welding, molten metal shoots out from the welding area. Almost like when oil splatters if it comes in contact with water.
This is one of the prime causes of injury in welding. And, a welding apron can provide full-body protection against it.
Note: If you need to protect the top of your body, opt for a half apron. But if you have to conceal the whole body while working, going for a full-body apron would be a smart idea. Regardless of the type of apron you select, your body will be well-protected, that’s for sure.
Things To Keep In Mind While Choosing A Welding Apron
With so many types of welding aprons available in the market, settling on the right one might feel a bit overwhelming. To help you make the right decision, below is a list of things you should consider when choosing a welding apron!
The quality of a welding apron depends mostly, if not entirely on the material. It goes without saying that it should be made from a sturdy material. The thicker the material is, the better protection it provides. And, when it comes to choosing the material that provides the best protection, leather is the way to go!
A thick leather apron not only protects against melting electrodes, but it also does a great job keeping the hot metal sparks away. A leather apron also does not allow heat to get into the garment while offering outstanding resistance to abrasion and perforation.
If you don’t have the budget to splurge on a leather apron, going for denim or cotton material would be a smart move. These are available at very affordable prices compared to the leather ones but do a decent job nonetheless. Although most cotton fabrics do not ignite, they may burn when exposed to fire sparks and splashes.
While cotton aprons might not provide the best protection for welding, if you are looking for one that is lightweight and breathable, get your hands on it without thinking much. Just make sure to use some extra gadgets along with the apron that can withstand intense heat and sparks.
Like regular apparel, welding aprons come in plenty of different designs and sizes. It’s totally up to you to decide on the size and design. You will never run out of unique welding apron designs when shopping for one. There are just so many options to choose from. But it all comes down to what you prefer the most.
No matter what design you end up choosing, just make sure that it fits you well. A comfortable fit will allow you to do your welding job more efficiently than you can imagine.
There are mainly two designs of welding aprons available in the market; full and half-length. A full-length apron provides complete coverage from the neckline to the knees. A half apron, on the other hand, starts from the waist and goes beyond the knees.
Long aprons offer better protection and safety. But you have to think about mobility and practicality as well. Half-cut aprons may offer less protection in comparison to longer aprons but they provide better mobility and comfort.
You will also want to take your own preference into account when choosing an apron. Instead of buying one, customize the aprons according to your style preferences and take the chance to get creative with it.
If you think you cannot weld in style, then you are wrong! It is very much possible to be stylish while welding. As mentioned earlier, welding aprons come in several sizes and lengths. Lucky for you, there are just so many unique styles to pick from!
If you would like to channel cowboy fashion into your apron, go for the split leg style. It has chaps all over the apron that mainly ties behind the knee. A slide slit option is available too, with which you can cover your entire front body and tie it in the back, like a regular apron.
A typical half apron goes down from the waist and tends to be more comfortable than all kinds. As these aprons don’t do a great job when it comes to giving the best possible coverage, you will have to wear a jacket on top to protect the upper torso.
In the case of full aprons, some designs resemble a chef’s apron. There are also full-length aprons with ties around the neck and back. These are not just trendy to look at, but also provide greater coverage and protection.
Safety is the first thing you should look out for when buying aprons if your job requires you to deal with heat and fire. The intense heat and sparks can not only give you a third-degree burn, but constant exposure to ultraviolet rays can also lead to a severe skin issue called “Welder’s Flash”. Your skin can also develop sunburns due to the penetration of fumes and heat.
It is better to be safe than sorry, and that’s why you should get your hands on an apron that will provide you with the best possible protection. Flame-resistant aprons are made to withstand fire sparks are radiation, thus it will be the best fit for hardcore welding.
How much welding aprons can ensure your safety depends greatly on its size alongside the material. Cotton aprons work great when it comes to working in a hot environment. But if shielding yourself from fire is your first priority, a leather apron is the way to go.
However, some welding aprons only provide partial coverage, which is not enough given the risk factors that come with welding. Covering your neck, arm and shoulder are as important as covering your chest and waist. Thus, it’s always better to go for aprons that provide full coverage.
Besides, most flame-resistant aprons tend to lose their effectiveness after a few washes. The high heat can also cause the color of clothes to peel. That’s why experts recommend layering some extra protection on top of the apron, such as jacket and bib, while welding. In addition to that, you can also use some protective tools like safety glasses, gloves, and helmets to ensure safety while working.
If an apron is sturdy and protective, there’s a good chance that it won’t feel comfortable.
But, feeling stiff and uncomfortable in your apron can increase the risk of injuries to a great extent. Apart from the thickness of the fabric, the comfort of an apron also depends on the climate you live in.
If you live in a cold climate, leather aprons will do a better job of keeping you comfortable. On the other hand, for people who live in humid weather, opting for fabric that’s lightweight and breathable is the way to go. Cotton and denim aprons are more effective in this case.
Mobility is equally important as comfort during welding. But, when moving and walking around while wearing an apron, the part below the waist can get in the way. Although it is up to you to decide which apron is more convenient for you, I recommend you to buy one with multiple straps.
To have more freedom of movement, you have to tie it well. And, straps will help you with that. You also want to be sure that the apron fits you well. If the apron feels way too tight or loose, it will restrict your movement too. That’s why it is always best to try the apron on before making the purchase.
Okay, you might be curious to know if you can use your welding aprons for other purposes. And you definitely can. At the end of the day, it is an apron. And it can do everything you’d use any other apron for. If anything it can do normal apron stuff much better due to it’s much more robust build quality. So, let’s look at a few other ways you can use welding aprons.
- Mining Or Utility Line Working
If your job exposes you to heat, flame, or radiation on a regular basis, wearing an apron is inevitable for you. You can count on the welding aprons to protect yourself from every possible risk that comes with doing your job.
If you happen to be a miner or a utility line worker, you have to wear an apron that is flame resistant; an apron that will not ignite or burn in open flames. Luckily, welding aprons will do the job, all the while keeping you comfortable enough to carry on with your work.
Even if you do end up catching the fire somehow, the risk of burning yourself will reduce down to a great deal, if you are wearing an apron. All you have to do is, get yourself out of your apron, and voila! You will come out of the fire unscathed, no doubt about that!
Yes, you read it right! Although there is no risk of injury during painting, a welding apron will definitely make the job easy. For centuries painters have been using aprons while doing their work. But why so? It’s because the aprons prevail over any splash of paint to stain your clothes.
The idea of wearing an apron for such a light task might come off as “weird” to many. But only the hardcore painters know how much of a struggle it is to not cover themselves in paint while painting.
Not only does a welding apron do a great job helping you prevent stains on your clothes, but it also comes with tiny pockets. If your art tools are always loitering around the house, a welding apron is a must-have for you. You can put all your art tools, such as brushes or paper clips on the pockets while painting and keep them with you, without having to get up every few minutes.
Working with wood is a tough task but with the right type of welding apron wrapping around your body, the job gets ten times easier. Woodworking also calls for having all the necessary tools for the job at your fingertip. The small compartments of a welding apron will help save you time in looking for items.
But, the biggest perk of using a welding apron when working with wood is that it can prevent your clothes from getting filthy. Especially from stains that are too hard to remove. If you happen to work with wood then you already know how much of a relief that is!
Keeping all the silver lines aside, woodworking gets harder than it already is if you are not feeling comfortable in your clothes. Comfort is also something that welding aprons aim to provide.
There are so many aprons made of breathable cotton material available in the market. All you have to do is, choose an apron that best suits your demands in terms of design and comfort. There are straps tied to the apron too, so you can adjust the apron to suit your comfort level.
Planting plants isn’t all sunshine and rainbows as it might seem. This is a rather difficult job that requires being associated with sweats and piles of dirt. If it doesn’t sound fun to you, get a welding apron right away!
If you didn’t know already, some of the welding aprons are made of washable materials. After your gardening session, you can easily wipe off the dirt on your apron or wash it with water.
Although cotton welding aprons are not durable when it comes to heavy-duty tasks, if you intend to use them for gardening, then you should use one as it is also less expensive and will last you in the long run.
It is pretty common these days for people to wear aprons while cooking to remain clean. Utilizing a welding apron while cooking not only protects against heat but also from flames or sparks.
Cooking techniques such as grilling require you to face the fire which can sometimes turn into danger. Be it grilling or baking, just put on a welding apron, and you will be safer than ever. As these can withstand heat, you will not feel uncomfortable too!
It is essential to wear an apron while welding to prevent injuries given the hazardous nature of the work. But, with so many options available in the market, I know how difficult it is to land on the right one.
I hope this article on Welding apron 101 was informative enough to assist you in making an informed decision. Thank you for being here until the end. Happy welding!