Handkerchiefs… ah, the romance of them! They have been around since before the Renaissance era, dainty-fying both ladies and men a-like. Handkerchiefs, also known as hankies are small, hemmed, square-shaped pieces of fabric used for personal hygiene or as a fashion accessory. Handkerchiefs can be made of cotton, silk, or linen. A lady’s handkerchief is often embroidered with flowers or other feminine details.


Handkerchiefs have an old world charm to them. They are dainty, beautiful and so very feminine. They provide a way to discreetly dab sweaty or wet palms before shaking hands or the nose when it is draining. They are also much more eco-friendly than the tissue paper that we often use today. When sprayed with perfume or floral scents, they offer a minute in a heaven.


  1. Always make sure they are clean and spotless. Never pull out one that looks used or dirty.
  2. Use it noiselessly. Don’t blow your noise loudly into one. Don’t turn your head side-to-side when wiping your nose. Instead, lightly dab the tip of your noise.
  3. Do not twist or fidget with one in your hands or swing and toss it about. A handkerchief should either be kept in your purse or motionless in your hands, except when in use.
  4. Do not tuck it into your clothing. It is not a bib nor is it a napkin.
  5. Do not use bright-colored ones. They will attract too much attention. Only use light pastel colors or white.
  6. Do not rub your mouth, forehead, or hands with it. Only use it to dab discreetly at these areas. Be extra careful when wearing make-up.
  7. Do not hold one to your nose for a long period of time as if trying to prevent yourself from smelling something or someone with foul odor.
  8. After dirtying one, make sure to discreetly fold it, hiding the dirty section, and place it in your purse. Never show anyone a soiled handkerchief.


Not many stores sell handkerchiefs today. Handkerchiefs are another custom dying out. Fortunately, there are still a few holding on. You can find several on Etsy.com and Brooks Brothers. Here are two more stores where we found beautiful sets…


THE VERMONT COUNTRY STORE: One Dozen Pretty and Practical Hankies With Floral Embroidery

Once a must-have for every lady, pure cotton handkerchiefs are hard to find these days. We offer two lovely embroidered styles to choose from: delicate white-on-white embroidery on 10″ squares, and 11″ squares of white cotton embroidered with 4 floral patterns in a variety of pretty colors. You’ll receive 12 hankies in each package. Machine wash and dry. Imported.


FLAX AND THIMBLE: Shamrock Bunch White Linen Handkerchief

This shamrock bunch white linen handkerchief presents a luxurious feel and style. Pamper yourself to exquisite apparel linens that are crafted with the highest quality European linen. Using minimally processed natural fibers for your accessories is not only healthy for the environment it is healthy for you. The modern person is bombarded with toxic chemicals and it is up to you to demand better. We at Flax & Thimble specialize in quality European linen accessories that not only accentuate your beauty but do it naturally.