Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden who lived in a magical land right around the corner. She had an embroidered handkerchief to give to her prince charming. Some maidens perfumed their hankies and waived them about dramatically, which is fine, but I use mine for practical stuff like blowing my nose. Handkerchiefs don’t have to be lacy and frilly. The first hanky I ever remember was my dad’s. I think it was plaid. My hankies are simply white squares of soft cloth. They are not embroidered, but they could be monogrammed or dyed, if I feel like getting crafty.
Although everyone in the known world once used hankies, some might think it’s dirty because they’ve been taught to use disposable tissues. However, if everything is too sanitized we are in danger of losing our natural resistance to common germs. Everything is alive all around us, so I prefer to live with nature, rather than feel the need to kill everything. My own mucus is not going to harm me if I reuse a hanky a few times. Based on a casual perusal of things people are carrying in their bags, I’d say hankies are making a comeback.
As a minimalist and an environmentalist, I love to find solutions that not only preserve nature, but also save money too. In this case, soft cloth hankies work better than standard disposable facial tissues. They don’t fall apart. They don’t stick to the skin. They don’t create garbage. They also feel so nice on the face. They can be reused many times and then simply washed and reused again.
My love of hankies began years ago, when I decided I wasn’t going to buy paper towels any more, and also started making my own natural cleansers. At that time, I bought a clean box of white rags to use for cleaning the house. It turns out that those cloths also worked wonderfully as napkins, and I put the softest ones aside to use as hankies.
So here’s to remembering to appreciate the magic of the simple hanky!
Hankies are a wonderful, simple, and softer alternative to paper tissues. Like a cloth napkin in a fine restaurant, a fabric handkerchief is more classy as well. Maybe you already love hankies too. Tell me your thoughts about cloth hankies.