What happened to handkerchiefs?

I received a box of seven, neatly-packaged handkerchiefs at one of my elementary birthday parties…each symbolizing the days of the week though I don’t remember ever really using one. Each day was a different color for me. I remember one day was an ugly brown color..though I could not remember the day. At friends birthday parties, it was the gift to give. Some were decorated with daily girl chores or colorful childhood scenes. Some were floral with colored lace. However, my Mother did encourage me to put one in my first handbag and my great aunt used one all the time. Her variety was sometimes yellowed with age and she had a special place in her robe or clothes to carry it wherever she went. Some just referred to their kerchief which was easier. Handkerchiefs could be made of cotton, cotton-synthetic blend, synthetic fabric, silk, or linen.

Handkerchiefs have long been displayed in the chest pocket of men’s jackets. Used in this way, they are referred to as a pocket handkerchief or pocket square. A traditional pocket square will have the hem rolled, contrary to handkerchiefs. The trend of pocket squares as a fashion accessory really started during the 1920s, and continued until the 1960s.

I don’t remember my friends or my children ever receiving a hankie or carrying one either. It just wasn’t popular. However, you can still buy handkerchiefs and studies have proven that they are relatively sanitary followed by the user watching his hands. They can be laundered many times. You can pick out the size and material that works for you. Of course, it all depends on how you handle the kerchief; never blowing your nose on and leaving it out in front of others.

Of course, vintage handkerchiefs are available on Ebay and while I was researching the collection, I noticed that Ebay had a days- of-the- week sitting among a large collection. It was a 1960’s children’s variety. There, in the picture above, was the ugly color handkerchief I got as a child! It was Wednesday…..I will never forget that color and there it sits in the photograph…still haunting me. Even though people today like Wednesday’s….it’s hump day and half way through the week, it was never my favorite day. Now, I know why!!!!


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