No we don’t have colds, nor are we crying over spilt milk, but if we were, we would be all set. After the popularity of our last hanky giveaway, we decided to do a hanky post, as we are both into hankies, and can’t pass a pile of them without a look-see to check if we need anything. I once went to a sale where there were oodles of handkerchiefs. There were several of us looking through them and purchasing them. The lady at the sale said, “Oh, these are so old fashioned, guess no one uses them anymore”, and then three of us whipped hankies out of our pockets! They are softer than tissues, and if you accidentally run one through the wash still in a pocket, there is no linty aftermath to clean up!
I was going to do a quick history of the hanky, but this wonderful website does a better job than anything I could come up with:
After you read our post, be sure and take some time to tour her collection, as it is pretty darned amazing.
So without ado, here are some of our favorites.
Probably some of the nicest ones to use are the sweet handmade ones with fancy edgings. Lots of soft cloth for your nose, but pretty and dainty anyway. Edgings can be tatted, crochet, knotted and knitted. I have a soft spot for the color-changing thread ones. The yellow and brown one is supposed to be a butterfly, but the crafter might have done better adding some antennae:
White work hankies abound. Tons of white on white work. Some of these are hand done, and some are commercial. These are at least bleach-able when you use them!
While we are doing whites, we come to the wedding hankies, or as I like to call them, “wave from the window hankies”. Perfect for waving as the train pulls out, or to dab a widow’s tear in the court room. I had one of these once that was literally one square inch of silk surrounded by a four inch lace border. It was pretty amazing.
Not all lace is white; here is a lovely pink one:
As pretty as these are, we do tend to be more drawn to the graphic ones. They make you smile!
Deb has a couple of dogs (of course!):
For some reason, cats are harder to find. They show up on tea towels more, so none to share from my collection, but I do have some wild animals in this one:
Notice the native dancers around the edge, and I am not sure where they are living that you find moose and tiger skins, but whatever. The rose one has some fun ’60s graphics as well. Both of these are signed, and many designers did wonderful hankies around this time.
Other graphics include many holiday hankies. A handkerchief was an acceptable gift when many other things were not, so Valentine’s examples abound, as well as the Christmas ones that were ubiquitous under the tree:
Some hankies have fun shaped edges. I love these, but ironing them is a pain:
There are souvenirs of both places and events, although who would want to remember Wyoming is beyond me, plus your hanky would just blow away up there. Guess it would be easier to catch than a Kleenex:
Here is Deb’s wonderful wartime memento. It’s very fragile after all these years:
I think Sister must have cherished it for many a year before Deb got it at an estate sale.
As well as humorous ones of all kinds:
It’s pretty sad, when you can’t blow your nose without dieting!
There are also some pretty spectacular embroidered pieces:
These are both fairly large hankies. I kept the W, as I turned it over and called it an M and it worked for me! Many handkerchiefs had lots of handwork, but many were also commercially made. I found this entire stack of samples at a sale a few years back:
Deb also included a couple of interesting hanky accessories. Every girl had to have a place to keep her supply. There are lots of variations on these hanky books:
Many of them came in this pink satin. It must have been very popular at the time. The pouch just folds open to place your hankies inside and then ties shut. If the soft route is not for you, here is a hanky box:
Please don’t forget to tour the hanky site, and for those of you that have stuck with us through all this, here is our giveaway: