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Hankies

Bobbi B.

New in Town
Messages
37
Location
Indianapolis
The colder months having come our way, I went searching for one of the season's humbler necessities, a fresh supply of nice hankies and found -- nothing!

Oh, huge, coarse things intended for gentlemen are still around, but nothing for us. No monograms, floral embroidery, lace trim, or prints.

Vermont Country Store does still carry suitable hankies. At $18 - 20 per dozen (and higher for the best lace-trimmed), they are not inexpensive but they'll do. Some of them are pretty as anything you'd find at a department store, if department stores still carried that sort of thing. (Don't get me started, I made a last-minute trip Wednesday for a new half-slip and they just about didn't have any! I've a good notion to send off a letter to Mr. May or Mr. Ayres* about it. How I miss F. W. Woolworth's!)

If you're going Golden Era anyway, this is something not to overlook. One does carry a hankie and it really should not be plain, unadorned white save in dire necessity -- I'm still thinking about embroidering a few for myself; it's not difficult and it was commonly done.

BB
____________________
* The last of the local department stores, L. S. Ayres, is, I believe, now a part of the May Co. group. Of course, there aren't any Ayreses associated with it and probably no Mays, either.
 

Lauren

Distinguished Service Award
Messages
5,060
Location
Sunny California
Agreed! Ebay's a good source if you're planning on picking up a bunch. Lots go for relatively inexpensively. I only own a few myself, but you have provided me with inspiration to search out a few more.
 

kamikat

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,794
Location
Maryland
Do you sew at all? It would be very easy to buy a yard of lawn or batiste, cut into squares and hem the edges.
As for slips, do you have Khol's near you? It's a low end dept store, cheaper than JC Penny's, better than Target. I just got 3 half slips(all different lengths) and one full slip for less than $40. The half slips were all less than $10 each. You can sometimes find half slips in Target and I know they have them in the JC Penny catalog and website.
kamikat
 

Bobbi B.

New in Town
Messages
37
Location
Indianapolis
Of course, you're right, Kamikat, and the end result would be just what I was after. I haven't done any serious sewing in years, just mending and a little decorative embroidery. I am looking just a little quizzically at the teeny narrow hems on the store-bought versions -- it really has been a long time!*

Kohl's, I'd not even thought of them! Ayres is only a mile away and I still assume they'll have everything. Not so much, not any more. ...It was one of those days, the evening before Thanksgiving....

BB

___________________
* I have a nice thift-shop Sears machine (made by Singer) from the 1960s that is about due for a new foot pedal, but what we had when I was growing up was an ancient Singer electric, one of the very first "portables" with the black enamel and gold scrollwork. My older sister has it now and uses it regularly. Still the best sewing machine I have ever used! No fancy stitches, of course.
 

The Bingstress

Familiar Face
Messages
70
Location
Dallas, TX
Maybe it's just a New York thing, but I've always been able to find vintage hankies in excellent condition in just about every vintage shop in the Big Apple. I have dozens of them (great for dabbing off droplets of perspiration during a night of swing dancing). Most, if not all, of them are embroidered with flowers or delicate lace, and I don't recall ever spending more than $1-2 per hankie. I would suggest checking the vintage boutiques or even thrift shops in your area to see if you can find something suitable.

Hugs & blessings,
The Bingstress
 

CaramelSmoothie

Practically Family
Messages
892
Location
With my Hats
Aren't hankies a bit unsanitary? Like, how many times can you realistically use it before it's full of mucous? I would imagine that each time you grab it you're touching your mucous on it and that leads to spreading germs?
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,497
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Aren't hankies a bit unsanitary? Like, how many times can you realistically use it before it's full of mucous? I would imagine that each time you grab it you're touching your mucous on it and that leads to spreading germs?

A lot of people in the Era carried two handkerchiefs -- a fancy one to be seen by others, to wipe off one's glasses, or to pat lightly on one's forehead on a hot day, and a plain one, or even a wad of Kleenex, for clearing the old sinuses. "One for show and one for blow."
 

Stray Cat

My Mail is Forwarded Here
If you're going Golden Era anyway, this is something not to overlook. One does carry a hankie and it really should not be plain, unadorned white save in dire necessity
Even while I was "just plain" I wore a handkerchief - I've always had them. [huh] I suppose that has a lot to do with the fact that our house had three generations in, and our grandparents always gave me hankies for Christmas.
I still have some of my old ones - there's Mickey Mouse on one, a bunny on the other and I have a set of three "kitty" (not a Hello Kitty, just plain kitty) one, with lace edges. Oh, this brings memories..

Do you sew at all? It would be very easy to buy a yard of lawn or batiste, cut into squares and hem the edges.
You are so true, Kamikat!
As a matter of fact, hankies are the easiest thing to make. I have a shop that sells materials (OK, it is in another town, but still..) that has most adorable designs that could easily be turned into hankies.

A lot of people in the Era carried two handkerchiefs -- a fancy one to be seen by others, to wipe off one's glasses, or to pat lightly on one's forehead on a hot day, and a plain one, or even a wad of Kleenex, for clearing the old sinuses. "One for show and one for blow."
A lot of people in the era, indeed.
My granddad was one of those people. He wore the loveliest hankie (I think it had a monogram on) in his front pocket. Could you imagine a butcher nowadays wearing a suit and a hankie in it?! But, he did.. back then. There were two types of hankierchiefs on the market - I remember that he had them in two different drawers. There was the "fancy" one, and there was "plain" one. Plain one was a wear-and-tear.. Or, as Lizzie said it: it was used for it's true purpose of cleaning the nose. :nod:

Ever since I was a kid, I was given hankies.
On my way to school, there was THE thing that was yelled behind my back: "Did you bring a hankie?" (ehmm.. I always had a bit of a sinus-situation, so my nose needed constant.. attention).
I'll tell you one thing: My grandparents have been long gone now, but I still have one "set" of brand new handkerchiefs - unopened. It is the set of three (they always came in threes): the green, red and blue; checkered, with tiny lace on the edges.
 

sheeplady

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
4,479
Location
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA
Aren't hankies a bit unsanitary? Like, how many times can you realistically use it before it's full of mucous? I would imagine that each time you grab it you're touching your mucous on it and that leads to spreading germs?

Well, a few times. First of a all, a hankie is typically bigger and better at containing things. What I do is progressively fold my hankie each time I use it, so everything is folded in. They also dry really fast, so the mucus is dried by the next blow typically. I change it once a day or more if I am using it frequently- I'm talking the kind of days when you go through a whole box of tissues, I might use 2-3 hankies. They are the best things for allergies- when you have a runny nose but not a snotty one. They also break down your nose less.

You should still wash/ sanitize your hands after you blow, just like with tissues, especially if you are out in public.

It is no worse than a cloth napkin at a restaurant or at home that you put your mouth on. Stuff comes out in the wash.

But then I also cloth diaper and use only cloth napkins in my house so my sense of things might be a bit off and probably isn't at all modern. But I hate garbage and waste so I'd rather use a hankie. And god, I love cloth diapers. Don't get started on how cloth is the most awesome diaper you'll ever use.
 

lareine

A-List Customer
Messages
309
Location
New Zealand
But then I also cloth diaper and use only cloth napkins in my house so my sense of things might be a bit off and probably isn't at all modern.

I think your sense of things is MORE modern, compared to most people at the moment. Being less wasteful of the finite resources we have is a very up-to-date approach. Being kinder to one's bank balance and one's delicate skin is also very a la mode ;)
 

sheeplady

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
4,479
Location
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA
I think your sense of things is MORE modern, compared to most people at the moment. Being less wasteful of the finite resources we have is a very up-to-date approach. Being kinder to one's bank balance and one's delicate skin is also very a la mode ;)

:) In reality, it is just because I am lazy (I hate going to the grocery store, and the idea of having to do so just to buy diapers would irritate me) and cheap (I'm not going to spend a dollar on wipes when water is near free- we use cloth wipes). The last time our daughter was in disposables was in the hospital. And notably, that was the last time she had a bad diaper rash too. So I think that is right that cloth is a lot more gentle on your skin. :)
 

Mme Dariaux

New in Town
Messages
16
Location
Empire of Softness
One additional positive thing about cloth hankies is that they don't crumble into tiny, irritating particles of paper if they happen to be stashed in a pocket and forgotten there (and no paper lint all over your clothes in case of paper tissue ending up in the washing machine). Personally I find a lace-edged, ironed handkerchief to bring a welcome touch of elegance to relieve the unpleasantness of runny nose.
 

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