I love handkerchiefs.....

I have such fond memories of my grandmother (nan) and her handkerchiefs.   She always had one in her pocket, in her purse, or under her watch band on her wrist.  What I remember most is this.... When she would fly back to New Jersey from visiting us out west, she always had a window seat.  Why?  Because she wanted  to sit and wave to us using her handkerchief.  We always  knew where she was  when we saw a white hankie waving up and down. Nan would wave until the plane had moved away from the terminal.  I always cried when she got on the plane and then cried again when I could no longer see the handkerchief.

Interesting facts about Hankies...

The material of a handkerchief can be symbolic of the socioeconomic class of the user, not only because some materials are more expensive, but because some materials are more absorbent and practical for those who use a handkerchief for more than style. Handkerchiefs can be made of cotton, cotton-synthetic blend, synthetic fabric, silk, or linen.
Handkerchiefs are also used as an impromptu way to carry around small items when a bag or basket was unavailable. They could also serve as a substitute for a bandage over a small injury. Also to demonstrate approval at public events such as processions or political rallies.
Besides their intended use, they could be used for cleaning equipment, polishing shoes, wiping one's hands and face, signalling for attention, as a sweat band, neckerchief, as protection from dust inhalation, to repair footwear, cut out pieces to patch clothes, cut up as emergency firearms cleaning patches, Molotov cocktail wick (fire-bomb), hot cooking utensil holder, a makeshift bandage, tourniquet, or arm sling.    Who knew they had so  many more uses other than something to blow your nose in.    

Several years ago I was asked to help with a house fire clean up and ran across a suitcase full of handkerchiefs.   They were spared by the fire but smelled of smoke.  I was so excited to find such an amazing collection and even more excited  when the family gave them to me!   I took them home washed and ironed them and stored them in a plastic bag.  I love getting them out once in a while and going through them all. 
Even with calendars

Back when handkerchiefs were in fashion, they came in every shape, size, color, and for all occasions and seasons.  Some were plain, colorful, embroidered, tatted, or crocheted, and  some even had dates and calendars on them.    There were hankies for men, women and children.

Little Boys Hankie

In a time of recycling and re purposing it seems fitting that we revive the use of hankies.   Who knows, you may find other great uses for them besides clearing your nose.

Nebraska Prairie Girl.


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