Hovden Formal Farm Wear - BLOG / History

The Hovden Apron


The busserull workshirt, which Hovden has been making for 3 years, was a man’s shirt (although today it is gender neutral). We decided it was time to recreate the women's work attire. But...what was the women's work attire? The apron, of course! Looking at photos of women in their work environment – with kids, on the farm, with animals, cooking, cleaning – it was obvious that the apron was on from dusk ‘til dawn. It helped protect the few dresses they owned. It was easier to wash an apron or two, than the shirts and dresses that they were wearing.

The inspiration for this apron came from all the women who have worked hard and cared for their families - always.


 Photo curtesy www.digitaltmuseum.no



We are excited to honor the women who worked so hard in a bygone era, by recreating their work attire – the apron.

After a lot of searching we found a fabric we loved and was perfect for the job. Sturdy canvas from hemp/organic cotton with indigo stripes: durable, sustainable and beautiful.

This apron isn’t your basic one piece covering, but rather it invokes the timeless appeal of the carefully pieced together covering from days long ago, while presenting a clean, beautiful finish.

The aprons are sewn, one at a time, with lots of love in Portland, Oregon. 

We hope you will love and treasure it as much as we do. Check out the apron in our shop here




To fully appreciate the versatility of the old aprons, enjoy this poem.  


Apron poem by Tina Trivett 

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.

She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.

She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.

She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.



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Hovden Art - Collage by Susan Hannen


We are proud to announce the Hovden Art Project, where artists create one or more pieces of art that encompasses Hovden and the busserull shirts past and/or present. Who else loves this idea? 

The first artist is Susan Hannen, who has been a Hovden fan and follower since the first year Hovden was in business. She found Hovden on Pinterest. She is located in Buffalo, NY and her medium is collage. 

I saw some of the historic collages that Susan had made, and fell in love. There are so many layers of history and story telling in her art. It was a perfect match for Hovden and I love what she created! It represents exactly what Hovden is trying to do. It is bridging the gap between the present and the past in a beautiful way. 

"I really wanted it to reflect the simple elegance, historical significance, and utility of the shirts."    Susan Hannen

Details of the collage: 

Detail of the collage


Detail of the collage


About Susan Hannen 

"I became interested in making collages when I taught poetry as a teaching artist in a long-term residency at the Native American Magnet School in Buffalo, New York. When working with the students I saw the power that making images brought to the writing experience, how making collages to illustrate their poems created a new excitement and enthusiasm for the written word.

After that, though I'd never thought of myself as a visual artist, I began to collect vintage images from books and scour estate sales for old photograph albums. I'd spend hours just shifting images around until something clicked and they fell into place like puzzle pieces.

For me, making collages is a meditative activity, one in which I can lose myself completely. It feels very much like play - like when you become so deeply engaged in something that time and place simply fall away."

Follow Susan on Instagram @susan_hannen 

I have printed this art as postcards, so if you would like me to send you a post card, send your address to hovdenffw@gmail.com

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