Festival of handkerchieves


I love the humble hanky. The way it accompanies me through life in a pocket, ready to assist when pollen is too much, when I’m moved to tears, when the wind is chilly enough to make eyes water or when genuine misery leaks out of me. The way it supports me through illness time after time. The way it saves me from single use napkins, means I never find a tissue that has gone through the washing machine, and rescues entire trees from being turned into tissues. I love the way it can be called upon to wipe up spills, deal with sticky fingers at unexpected moments, prevent chafing, or (if clean) wrap a small item at short notice.

The latest festival of the hanky was generated by a friend whose hanky collection had shrunk to zero. But needless to say it didn’t stop when I’d made a collection for him. Soon I had some made from cotton voile and some made from muslin that had a past life wrapping a baby. Then a fine cotton scarf which has been in the cupboard unused for over a decade became four lovely hankies. Then the main parts of a striped shirt that belonged to a friend, who gifted it to me, which had a superpower of making people in shops address me as sir for many years–was converted from a very worn thin shirt to some lovely fine hankies.

And then some fine cotton I’d dyed… and some brand new fine cotton voile… and there it stopped for the time being.Β  And now I have so many opportunities to share the hanky love…



Filed under Natural dyeing, Sewing

14 responses to “Festival of handkerchieves

  1. Manja

    Beautiful hankies with stories! πŸ’œ!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nadine Andrew

    I love hankies too! Most people think I’m daggy. Much better than tissues.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marg

    Hankies are the best. I have special night hankies, several lucky hankies, hankies I have handsewn from fabric whilst traveling or found abandoned in muddy puddles. I love them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just can’t agree more. I have a fine vintage collection of hankies that I have been gathering up over the years.

    They are so much nicer than paper ones.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. janewheelercouk

    how do you wash your hankies? as a person with runny sinuses I don’t fancy using fabric that’s been through my usual low-temp washing cycles ….. have memories of mother boiling blue prints from my dad’s drawing office to make linen handkerchiefs πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love my hankies too. I converted an unworkable collection of Canteen bandanas that now get used all the time. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love these! I also love the old-fashioned word “handkerchief” with its slightly clunky and also old-fashioned plural “handkerchieves”. All sorts of memories of a distant age contained therein …


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