Flat Preloader Icon

Welding Apron vs Welding Jacket: What’s the Difference?

welding jacket, welding apron

Welding aprons and welding jackets are clothing items of personal protective equipment (PPE) made specifically for welders. This equipment is made of fire-resistant and thermally insulating materials that protect welders from metal splatter, high heat, and radiation that cause painful and unpleasant burns. But, which one is best to use? What are the differences between the two? Which one offers better protection for welding? Read on to find out.

Welding Apron vs Welding Jacket

Overall Things to Know about Welding Aprons and Welding Jackets

Generally, welding aprons are better to use for warmer climates since they tend to be more comfortable when it’s warm because the open-cut doesn’t result in heat build-up. In contrast, jackets are preferred for colder climates. They keep you warm and safe, making it more comfortable. But if the fabric used is too stiff or thick, then this naturally reduces comfort. 


Welding aprons are the best option if the main requirement for the welding project is mobility. It is easier to put on and take off. Welding aprons come in different models, from those with more coverage to half-aprons that protect only the legs. Since these adjustable, they can be used by multiple employees, saving on inventory cost. 

welding apron


Welding jackets are best when you’re doing some overhead or vertical work. Since it’s close to the body, you can’t get easily tangled in the equipment. In addition, jackets have good sealing and integration with other welding equipment like helmets, helmet bibs, and others. Jackets come in different sized so it is not easily transferable from one employee to another. 

welding jacket

Welding Aprons vs Welding Jackets: Main Differences

Perhaps the most significant difference between welding aprons and welding jackets is the coverage they provide. Since a welding apron is similar to a conventional kitchen apron, you get partial coverage at the chest area. There will be no protection for the arm, shoulder, or neck coverage making the apron only suitable for light-duty work. 


However, since your back is exposed when using the welding apron, your arms are open to allow uninhibited mobility and precision work. Also, aprons offer protection for the upper legs and knees. If you’re working with knee-height tasks, aprons are more suitable. 


Welding jackets or coats, on the other hand, provides coverage for the whole upper body.  You get full-on protection from the waist to the neck, this includes coverage for your arms, shoulders, chest, and neck. This, then, is the best option. 


Welding Apron vs Welding Jacket: Which is the Better Safety Option?

Remember, safety comes first. This means all other things like comfort and mobility come in secondary. As a general rule, when welding jackets and welding aprons are made of leather, the jacket is always preferred because it provides full coverage and better integration with other protective equipment. But then, for experienced welders who will only do light-duty work, a welding apron will be enough even if it does not provide full coverage. 


In conclusion, there is no single piece of equipment that is sufficient for all welding scenarios. You’ll need additional Welding PPE for optimal protection.

Leather Welding Clothing and Accessories Every Welder Must Have

leather welding

Every welder needs to dress for safety. No matter what the job, protection is still a top priority. This is the reason why we have welding clothing and protective equipment that are readily available in retail stores and in online shops. While there are several materials that make good welding clothing, leather is proven to be one of the best when it comes to giving maximum protection. Here we give you a list of leather gear or leather welding clothing every welder should have. 

Leather Welding Clothing and accessories, Must-Haves

Leather is the best fabric for most welding clothing. It is known for its properties like thermal and fire resistance, flexibility, and durability. With welders exposed to heat most of the time, this material is perfect to protect them from any kind of mechanical aggression or thermal contact they may encounter while on the job. 

While leather can be very heavy giving lower breathability which can be a bit uncomfortable, the advantages totally outweigh these points. The advantages include long use life, cutting resistance, as mentioned earlier, heat and fire resistance, and it being economic. Here we share a list of leather welding clothing you should start getting for yourself to get that maximum protection while at work.

Leather Welding Jacket

Leather welding jackets are designed to give full protection from the neck down to the waist and the shoulders down to the arms from sparks, heat, and weld spatter. It also provides protection from the intense UV and IR radiation from a welding arc which increases the risk of cancer. 

Leather welding jackets are best to use in cooler climates and heavy-weight weldings like MIG and TIG welding. Read our blog on how to choose the best welding jacket so you can be guided. 

Leather Welding Sleeves 

Leather welding sleeves are the ideal alternative for arm protection most especially when welding jackets become too heavy for the job. It’s also perfect for those who need more arm movement and functionality. These are also much cooler than welding jackets. 

Choose leather sleeves for welding that are made of cowhide split leather that is reinforced with protective Kevlar. Choosing the best welding sleeves can be quite tricky but a welding sleeves buying guide would definitely help. 

welding sleeves

Leather Welding Apron

Leather Welding aprons are especially useful for front body protection. They’re not only used for welding, they’re great for grinding, woodworking, grilling, and even cleaning. There are different types of welding aprons. Here are a few of them. 

Leather waist Welding Apron

This type of apron gives protection for the waist and the upper legs. This is best used for works done on a table or platform. 

leather welding waist apron

Long Welding Apron

The long welding apron goes from the upper torso until the knees. This is most convenient for most metalworking and other activities that need full frontal protection.

Leather Welding Split Leg Apron

Whenever you need to walk and kneel a lot while on the job, a long welding apron will always be in the way. This is when leather split leg aprons become convenient. It basically straps around each leg for more movement. 

leather welding split leg apron

Leather Welding Apron with Sleeves and Pockets

The leather welding apron with sleeves is basically a full-length welding apron that provides protection from the upper chest to below the knees. It already has welding sleeves to give arm protection. Basically, this rare welding clothing gives full coverage for a high degree of safety. 

Leather Welding Cape bolero

The leather welding cape or split leather welding cape with sleeves offers the ultimate protection for the neck, arms, shoulders, and chest. and flexibility. Some leather welding capes come with a detachable apron. This is very efficient if you need sleeves and an apron to make a full-on welding jacket. 

Leather Welding Gloves

Leather welding gloves are one of the most important welding accessories a welder should have. These are protective gear that allows digit articulation while protecting the hands of welders from extreme heat, electrical shocks, or ultraviolet and infrared radiation. 

Whether it’s for MIG, TIG, or stick welding, gloves made out of leather are the best choice. Those made out of Cowhide, for example, is a top choice with the outside layer made of leather goatskin which is proven to have the highest tensile strength for any welding material. If you’re having trouble choosing which gloves are best for what you do, our buying guide will be helpful. 

leather welding gloves

Leather Welding Spats

Leather welding spats are buttoned around the ankle to protect the feet, legs, and, shoes from splatter, cuts, spark, and hear while on the job. Very useful in avoiding burns when performing welding tasks where there are flying sparks and debris. 

leather welding spats


Leather Welding Hood

Another must-have would be a leather welding hood. This is designed to protect the head, eyes, and neck while giving welders the needed movement and flexibility they need as compared to other welding hoods. It’s ergonomic and can allow for welding in close quarters and prevent welding slag to burn the neck and face.

leather welding hood

What to know about a welding apron

welding apron leather
Welding aprons are especially useful in working conditions where the front of the body must be protected. Not only welding, but also grinding, woodworking, but even grilling and cleaning. Since the arms are usually not protected, leather sleeves are a useful in addition for better protection against heat and sparks. An apron makes sure not to burn holes in your clothes.

Welding aprons: what to use for

Welding and metalworking

When welding or grinding there’s a lot of heat and hot material that can burn through clothes and burn skin. It’s obvious that in order to work safe, decent protection clothing is needed. Welding aprons usually protect torso and upper legs. It depends on the used material how much and how long it can protect. Keep in mind that with most aprons, arms and neck are usually not protected. For certain metalworking, it’s strongly advised to use additional clothing, like a fire resistant welding shirt or leather welding sleeves.

Other uses for welding aprons

Besides metalworking, aprons are very useful for all kinds of home improvement like painting, woodworking, gardening, grilling etc. Aprons will protect clothes from being dirty, especially stains that are impossible to wash off. Based on what your needs are, you can choose the right apron. We continue to discuss the different models in welding aprons. leather apron

Different models of welding aprons

Long welding apron

A long welding apron usually ranges from 40″ (about 101 cm) to 36″ (91,5 cm) in length. For an average adult, this goes from the upper torso until the knees. Longer is also possible, but less convenient to walk with. A shorter apron will usually cover torso and upper legs. A long welding apron is the most convenient for most metalworking and other activities that need full frontal protection. welding apron

Waist welding apron

A waist apron starts from the waist and protects the upper legs. It’s especially useful for works on a table or a platform. Most waist welding aprons come in different sizes, but are usually not longer than the knees for an adult. welding waist apron

Split leg welding apron

When you need to walk and kneel a lot, a long welding apron can be less convenient: the part under the knees can be in the way. Therefore split leg welding aprons are more useful. This is basically an apron that straps around each leg, in order to give more freedom to move. The length of split leg aprons can vary: usually they cover the upper legs, but longer ones go even until the feet.

Different uses of material for a welding apron

Leather welding apron

Leather, and more specifically cow skin leather, is the best material for welding aprons. It’s strong and very heat and flame resistant. This all comes with a price: it can also be more costly and heavier to wear all day long. Leather is also a natural product and therefore not suitable to wash or come in contact with water. Still this doesn’t stop most people from choosing leather for a welding apron. Pros:
  • Heat and flame resistant
  • Strong and durable
  • More expensive
  • Can’t be washed with water
welding apron leather

Waxed canvas apron

Waxed canvas is a strong and nice material that can serve as a good material for an apron. It’s waterproof, lighter and more flexible than leather. On the other hand, it doesn’t serve as fire resistant material, so for many discussed jobs it falls out of category. It still can be used for woodworking, gardening, grilling or other tasks that don’t involve high heat or sparks. Pros:
  • Strong and light
  • Waterproof
  • Not fire resistant

Fire resistant cotton welding apron

The cheapest welding aprons are usually made of fire resistant cotton. They still offer a decent protection against heat and flames, but they’re not as durable as leather. Fire resistant cotton is light and can be easily washed. For lighter metalworking, it’s definitely a good solution. Pros:
  • Cheaper than other materials
  • Fire resistant
  • Can be washed
  • Less durable, less useful for metalworking

Good to know when buying a welding apron:

Most classic cheaper aprons hang around the neck and have to be tied on the back. This is fine for light aprons, but when wearing heavier longer, it can be less comfortable. Therefore most premium welding aprons have some kind of harness that straps at the back. The straps are easy to modify and the apron feels tightly strapped on the body. welding apron harness A lot of aprons also have a pocket on the front, which is convenient to put your phone, pencil, protection glasses. welding apron front pocket