OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     I have a collection… A little unusual as the use for these originally was to blow your nose…

My collection started when my Nanny, a.k.a. grandmother, died and I was sent a few of her things. Some were doilies she had crocheted and some were her pretty handkerchiefs. I have a feeling she never used them for their intended purpose, or at least she washed them well…

Since then whenever I wander around an antique store I am drawn to the linens. I love looking at the old tablecloths, napkins, quilts, pillowcases – and hankies…


Having grown up in the Kleenex era, I had to look up how the name handkerchief originated – putting together the various information it appears that kerchief was a covering usually for the head – these were for covering your hand when you sneezed, coughed, blew your nose.

Men continued to use the plain white ones well into the second half of the 20th century, I can remember my daddy and uncle pulling theirs out of their pockets and ‘using’ them (gross…)

I like the Renaissance era of handkerchiefs where the fair maiden dropped hers so the handsome courtier would pick it up for her…

My mother taught me how to crochet when I was little. Once I got the hang of using the crochet needle she showed me how to make a pretty pattern around a plain handkerchief. I taught my daughter how to cross stitch and embroider, one of the first projects she did was to embroider a rose onto a handkerchief…


When a friend’s child gets married I have started giving them a handkerchief as a keepsake of the special day (and to dab away the tears)…

Hand me downs through the generations, no telling what my grandchildren will make of my collection. In this age of disposable everything, it will be fun explaining to them what they were intended for…



2 Comments on “Handkerchiefs?

  1. I enjoyed your post. I have my gramma’s pretty ” hankies” too. I can’t seem to get rid of them …or use them. I remember using my dad’s though. 🙂


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