12.07.2010

Vintage Handkerchiefs

A while back I started collecting vintage handkerchiefs.  

How classic and timeless they are.  
The care ladies put into hand sewing the flowers, initials, and the fine little details. 

Historically, you could use them to wave goodbye to a ship, hold back your hair, or in a bad spot -  surrender!  True story, when my first child was born I went through natural labor (wishing the whole time I had opted for some drugs).  Needless to say, there was some cussing going on.  The next day as I was lying in the hospital bed, my Dr. stuck his arm through the curtain and waived a white hanky at me – heh!

It is believed that King Richard II of England (reigned 1377-1399) invented the handkerchief , written that he used square cloth to wipe his nose.  I’m not sure I’m buying the fact he was the first one to come up with that simple movement….

Did you know that once upon a time the material a handkerchief was made from was symbolic of your social status? 


 I think it’s a lost art really.  You don’t see ladies carrying handkerchiefs like they used to.  They’re considered unsanitary but when Kleenex invented disposable tissue they never thought they would replace hankys so marketed them as make up removers. I remember my grandmother used to keep one tucked in her sleeve. 
Oh, and how about this Mommy classic move:  
honey-you-have-something-on-your-face-lick-the-hankie-rub-off-the-culprit-so-hard-you-had-a-red-mark-for-20-minutes. It would happen so fast - you wouldn't be able to squirm away because she would have your chin in a vice grip that any Ultimate Fighter would envy.
I have several in my Etsy shop for sale but am loathe to sell them all – I just love them and the reminder of a simpler time....


2 comments:

Vicki said...

Hi, Jenn. I came over for a visit! Your vintage hankerchiefs are beautiful. I'm following and can't wait to visit your shop too. Nice to meet you. Love those inspiration photos on the right! I'll be back.

Lauren said...

Hi Jenn,
what a fun post! and I can't imagine swearing during labor (LOL-that's actually the only time my husband will let me get away with it:-) My step dad always carries hankie's around, but I kinda feel bad blowing my nose on it bc its so nice:-) have a great day! Thanks for following our blog as well.

My email ~~ fleawith@gmail.com ~~