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  1. #1
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Darkroom Apron or Coat Recommendation

    The thread on dust (one of many here) made me want to upgrade my current black apron (cook's type). I'd like one that is:
    • Black and not too reflective, to help with contrast control while in front of the enlarger, D&Bing
    • Not linty, and able to stop dust from clothing
    • Good with occasional splashes and minor spills (I flip prints energetically while processing in trays)
    • Washable
    • Looking nice would be a bonus but doesn't have to come straight from a Milan catwalk, or with its price tag

    So, what's your apron, coat, smock etc, and where could I get it?
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  2. #2
    jp498's Avatar
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    I don't wear an apron. If I did have to buy one to your specs I would visit my local commercial fishing supplier for a work apron.

  3. #3

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    On the west coast (at least) there is a chain of discount leather stores called Leather Works. I bought a black patchwork leather apron from them years ago and it has served me well in the darkroom since then. It is a smooth enough finish that chemical splashes stay on the surface and is easy to wipe off with a damp cloth. It has side and front pockets for holding accessories and the side pockets are lightproof, so I can keep my cell phone in one and not worry about fogging anything if it rings at a critical time.

    Best of all, I think I paid 10 bucks for it. Last time I was in a store (last summer) they still had them in stock.

    Best,

    Doremus

  4. #4

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    Dec 2012
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    Thank you for the tip. Online store front link below. Still $10.00
    Even with shipping it is a good deal.

    http://www.leatherthatworks.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi

    And yes I have one on the way.

  5. #5
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Thanks, indeed, Doremus. I wonder if it is heavy. Shame they won't ship outside of US—time to set-up that myus.com account again.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  6. #6

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    Unless you are handling very corrosive things (like concentrated sulfuric acid, concentrated solutions of sodium hydroxide, and the like), almost anything will do. For the corrosive stuff, polyethylene aprons are available from scientific supply stores. For routine stuff, photo stores, woodworking supply shops, and hobby stores all have very good aprons from time to time. I've seen good ones offered by Freestyle and Photographers' Formulary. I use either one I got from Freestyle or one I got from Shopsmith (woodworking tool company). They are almost identical.

  7. #7
    fotch's Avatar
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    I use a vinyl apron sold for photography use. It was cheap, has lasted 30+ yrs, & is light weight. The last point is important since most such items hang from your next. In the wood shop, I have one that hangs from the shoulders which is a lot more comfortable for the heavier cloth types.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  8. #8

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    Comfortable old clothes, if you stain them it really doesn't matter.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #9

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    I use a Kodak vinyl apron that I bought a very long time ago. I saw a photo of AA recently showing him wearing the same one (great minds think alike! ). It has a cuff along the bottom to trap any chems that run down its length to below the knees. It has grommets for the tie strings at the waist, so I chose to use long shoe strings (flat cross-section) for hiking boots that can allow me to tie in the front at the waist. So I can hang two towels on the string, one on the left hip for dev only with the left hand, and one on right hip for the acidic stuff such as stop bath/fixer with the right hand, to prevent contamination. This way the towels are always with me as I move around the darkroom. Separate containers in the sink have finger dip water for dev and "other" to use before towel drying. Been doing it this way for decades. The excruciating weight of the damp towels then hangs from the waist.

  10. #10

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    I have one I got years ago from Lab Safety Supply, cloth with a waterproof black coating. Just checked, they've been bought out by Grainger and their easy website has become impossible to search easily. Too big for functionality…

    Perhaps Edmund Scientific if they still exist?

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