23 Uses Of The Modern Tissue Paper Substitute

23 Uses Of The Modern Tissue Paper Substitute

Have you been wondering what a good tissue paper substitute would be?

The single-use sanitary product may be mainstream, but it’s also not particularly great for the environment. Nor is it necessarily more hygienic than a handkerchief.

Handkerchiefs are a great solution. But there’s a new kind of handkerchief that improves and modernizes the trusted hanky: it’s called a HankyBook!

I created HankyBook to offer the most sustainable, hygienic, and stylish product to tackle sniffles, sneezes, sweat and more!

A true, tissue replacement if I do say so myself.

HankyBook is a stylish and multi-purpose set of handkerchiefs, presented in a uniquely charming book form. The lightweight “book” is the perfect travel companion and tissue paper replacement. Store one in your back pocket, bag, or purse and you’re ready to clean up any mess in no time at all. A quick wash and your HankyBook is ready for another day’s work.

To try a HankyBook is to adopt one. Every day you’ll discover new ways for your hanky friend to make your life so much easier (and cleaner!)

Here are a few of the most common uses of the HankyBook.

1. FOR YOGA ENTHUSIASTS

Before you hit the mat, make sure you’ve got your lightweight HankyBook tucked into the waist of your stretch pants. You could even place it right next to your mat for easy access. A runny nose? Sweaty brow? No problem! HankyBook’s absorbent and ultra-soft cotton will wipe away distractions and keep you in a focused state of mind.

2. FOR NURSING NEEDS

Bringing a precious bundle of cuteness into the world is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. But it will also require an incredible amount of work. Babies haven’t quite mastered the art of managing their bodily fluids. So welcome to drool-city, spit-up town, and messy eating village. It is a non-stop cleanup job. With HankyBook you don’t need to accumulate an army of tissues or always looking for a trashcan. You can make your life easier and save money in the long run.

Why not get up to 6 HankyBooks and then two of these stylish, reusable travel pouches. If you get them in different colors, then you can have one for used HankyBooks and another for clean. No more digging around in your bag, trying to find the least used tissue. Just an organized HankyBook strategy for moms to cope with their disorganization-causing bundles of joy. A HankyBook 3-pack will make the perfect baby shower gift for expecting moms.

3. FOR COLDS THAT LEAVE YOU RAW

There’s nothing worse than a cold that will not go away. It’s not just the runny nose; it’s the rawness caused by constantly blowing your nose on paper tissues. Tissues that are so easily left around will invariably spread germs to surfaces where the cold virus can remain for hours or even days. Nobody wants to spread their awful cold to loved ones, but that’s what often happens. Thanks to the HankyBook’s shape, with its protective outer cover, you can now keep the germs away from other surfaces. Not only that but its soft organic cotton is a welcome relief for the raw skin around your nose. Blow with confidence. Blow with comfort. Blow with HankyBook.

4. FOR WORKOUTS AND SPORTS

You’re on the treadmill. Your heart is pounding. Your blood is racing. But your forehead is perspiring, and it’s dripping into your eyes. Oh, and now your nose has also started running. Your workout is about to be interrupted.

That is unless you can reach into your waistband or pocket and pull out a HankyBook. A forehead wipe with one hanky, a nose blow with another, and now you’re back in full stride. HankyBook’s versatility really comes in handy with sportsmen and women of all ages. From wiping away blood after a collision on the courts to drying hands before a deadlift, to even wiping down sweat on gym equipment – HankyBook is what you need.

5. FOR A CLEARER VIEW

The best part of getting a new pair of glasses is that for one brief moment they are completely clear. Every day after that is a constant battle to keep your lenses free of dust and finger smudges. Keeping a cleaning cloth handy, specifically for sunglasses or prescription glasses, is less than ideal. You can try. Chances are you will lose it or always forget it behind. That’s why HankyBook, being a multi-purpose solution that you won’t lose, is the perfect solution. Its soft cotton material is ideal for giving lenses that pristine, first-day look.

7. FOR MOMENTS OF EMOTION

It could be a story that pulls on the heart strings, or a stubborn table greeting a stubbed toe. You might have sensitive eyes, or you might just have a sensitive soul. But one thing is for certain; emotion will bubble up when it’s least expected. With a HankyBook by your side, you always have help to wipe away those tears.

8. FOR MEALS THAT MAKE A MARK

It’s a hot summer’s day, and your ice-cream is melting all over your hand. It’s a lunch break at work and sauce has dripped onto your shoe. Food is messy, and there are times where you don’t have a napkin ready to clean up the mess. That’s why you should always have a HankyBook in your back pocket. It’s so useful for so many things we could have called it the HandyBook. Next time you have an unfortunate spill, a quick wipe with your favorite tissue paper alternative and you can get back to enjoying your delicious treat.

9. FOR CLEANER SCREENS

Laptops. Televisions. Computer screens. We love them so. But, apparently, not as much as dust loves them. Next time the light hits your screen in a way that reveals the true dusty horror, just whip out your HankyBook and thanks to its ultra-soft cotton, you can wipe away the dust without any concern about scratching delicate surfaces.

10. FOR MAKEUP ON THE RUN

Hit the town with confidence knowing that your HankyBook will keep your makeup smearing in check. Lipstick and mascara like to spread into unwanted territory, especially when out dancing or when eating greasy foods. With a HankyBook conveniently tucked away in your small purse you can sharpen up the borders of your lipstick and clean up mascara that’s heading south (under eye). The HankyBook’s soft organic cotton and compact travel convenience are perfect for the job!

11. FOR BITTERLY COLD WEATHER

When the winter months arrive, it brings with it a chorus of sniffles. Sometimes it feels like your nose is running and it’s not. Normally it feels like it’s running and it is. That’s when you need to pull a HankyBook out of your pocket to blow and wipe away those winter blues.

12. FOR CYCLING ENTHUSIASTS

For cyclists, it’s about being as streamlined as possible. Taking an extra bag with a towel, tissues, and all sorts of another paraphernalia is just not an option. The HankyBook’s versatility and lightweight form mean you can simply tuck it under your cycling shorts and hop on your bike. If the wind has your nose running or sweat is getting in your eye, simply slide out your trusty HankyBook, and in no time you’re ready to hit the open road again.

13. FOR TIME OUT IN NATURE

When going on a hike up the mountain or to the forest, you only want to take what is absolutely necessary. HankyBook is the lightweight solution that will save space in your backpack. Use it to blow your nose, hold a piping hot cup, or wipe sweat from your brow. If you respect nature, you don’t want to leave behind a trail of scrunched up tissue paper. Heck, if you respect nature you wouldn’t want to use throw-away tissues made from trees in the first place. HankyBook isn’t just normal friendly. It’s eco-friendly!

14. FOR GREEN THUMBS

If you’re used to working in the garden, then you’re probably used to getting your hands dirty. Whether you want to clear off dirt so you can pull on gardening gloves, or merely want to avoid using your pants to clean your hands because there’s no other option. HankyBook is the perfect gardening companion. And it’s eco-friendly for extra green-thumb credentials!

15. FOR GETTING COOZY

A beverage coozy helps to insulate a cold bottle or can of your favorite drink. On a hot summer day, with no coozy in sight, your versatile HankyBook will comfortable wrap around your beverage. Now you can enjoy refreshing cool sips while others have to slurp warm liquid instead.

16. FOR ALLERGY SEASON

Only those with sensitive noses can truly know how annoying allergy season is. While others deeply breathe in the pollen floating with the breeze, those with an allergy are more like to sneeze. When it sets in it can be solid months of a runny nose and sneezing fits that come at the most inopportune moments. Instead of carrying around a shopping bag full of tissues, just have a fresh HankyBook with you wherever you go. At a moments notice you can have your HankyBook out and ready to save the day. Best of all, you don’t have to chop down a whole forest to cover all the tissue paper that you’d need to make it through allergy season.

If you know someone that suffers from allergies, why not surprise them with a HankyBook? In their sneeziest moments, there is nothing they’d appreciate more.

17. FOR EMERGENCY DUSTING

You have visitors coming over any minute, and you can’t find the duster. Have no fear, HankyBook is here. The versatile little helper is so soft that it will make a perfect impromptu dust remover for any surface. It will wipe off flat surfaces in an instant, exactly what you need when leading friends to an outside table that you forgot to wipe down.

18. FOR THE ULTIMATE BLANKY BUDDY

There is nothing as precious as seeing your little one sucking his or her thumb while clutching their favorite blanky. We never thought of HankyBook as a blanky but apparently, there’s something that infants and younger children really love about it. Maybe it’s our patterns, or how smooth it is to the touch. Whatever the reason, we’ve been delighted to hear about this unexpected use of the HankyBook.

19. FOR BLOODY ACCIDENTS

It is inevitable that in life we fall. When we get up, it’s a relief to have a HankyBook to use as a makeshift bandage, or to dab away blood from a knee scrape. It’s also perfect for bloody noses, which can occur from an accident or on their own. Whatever the cause, they can be embarrassing, awkward, and incredibly messy. If you’re in a (nose) pinch, let HankyBook absorb the damage and save the day.

20. FOR COASTER CONVENIENCE

You have some friends over for a get-together and there are more beverages than there are coasters. What are you going to do – hold onto your drink all day? No, just grab your HankyBook. Its flat shape will protect any surface, and the absorption of the HankyBook cotton is ideal for capturing any dripping condensation. The stylish designs and unique functionality may even make for a great conversation starter.

21. FOR DRY GRIPS

If your hands are perspiring or you’ve just washed them, and there’s no towel handy, reach for your companion HankyBook and get your palms dry in seconds. Next time nerves strike, and you have to shake hands, HankyBook could help you avoid a squishy handshake faux pas that you’ll never live down.

22. FOR SNOTTY SLOPES

Hitting the slopes for a skiing vacation is a luxury that all should appreciate. What you should not appreciate is the mess of fluids that skiing through cold wind will create. From a distance, skiing looks elegant, but up close most faces are anything but. Drool, tears, and running noses are a natural part of the experience. That’s why a HankyBook in your back pocket is the perfect fix to keep your face dry and your enjoyment up.

23. FOR CONNECTING WITH LOVED ONES

We’ve covered a lot of practical uses for HankyBook, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. But we wanted to end on a point that is not so much pragmatic as it is meaningful.

The elegant HankyBook was made for people to enjoy and share with the loved ones in their lives. Whether it’s a husband adopting the gentlemanly characteristics of handkerchiefs of old as he wipes away a happy tear from his wife’s cheek. Or a young woman who one day will look back at her old HankyBook as memories from childhood flood back. HankyBook is your dependable companion as the stories of life continue to unfold.

So, are you ready to replace your tissue paper?

Leslie Uke
Me and my HankyBook
How to Use a Handkerchief (For Life, Love & Everything Else)

How to Use a Handkerchief (For Life, Love & Everything Else)

There are many ways to use the humble handkerchief – from a quick wipe of your brow to catching the, uh, “contents” of your cold.

The beauty of hankies is in large part due to how versatile they are – for men and women! How you use them will depend on the current spillage crisis you have to deal with.

In recent decades the hanky has been largely replaced by the facial tissue, but people are starting to realize that tissues are actually really bad for the environment.  

Consequently, people are looking for more sustainable ways to catch colds and clean up spills.

Like it or not, the handkerchief is enjoying a comeback!

Handkerchief Google Search
Steady Google Trends growth for “handkerchief”

If you are already a handkerchief owner you know that a trusty hanky should always be kept close, whether in your pocket or purse. That way, when the moment strikes, you don’t have to panic or search – you simply mop up before things get messy.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the many ways you can use your handkerchief.

Use handkerchiefs to stay sanitary

Do we really need to explain how to use a handkerchief for blowing your nose?

Okay fine, you probably won’t need to take notes for this one:

Simply unfurl your little cotton square, lift to your nose, and blow.

Oh, and maybe duck out of sight if you’re in polite company!

Many believe that hankies are unhygienic but we compared handkerchiefs and tissues and the results may surprise you.

What we found was that handkerchiefs can be just as sanitary if not more than tissues, as long as you fold them to keep the germs trapped.

When you get home, just pop it in the wash and it’s ready for another day of sneezes and sniffles.

Use handkerchiefs to wipe sweat, spills, anything!

Whether perspiring from a hot day or a hectic activity, handkerchiefs have always been a great tool to dab away forehead moisture, dry sweaty hands and generally soak up light spills of any description.

Handkerchief wipe sweat
Dubstep dab

Use handkerchiefs for the environment

In case it isn’t obvious, using wads of single-use paper to blow your nose isn’t exactly good for the environment.

Here is a breakdown of the environmental impact of hankies versus tissues.

Unrecycled tissues

Unlike tissues, handkerchiefs are a sustainable way of wiping away spills and messes without wasting loads of paper.

A good cotton hanky will last years – maybe even decades!

Use handkerchiefs to save money

You wouldn’t blow your nose with a crisp 20-dollar bill. So why do you still spend oodles of cash on tissues?

Burning money

As anyone who’s ever had a nasty cold will know, you can rack up quite a number of boxes before you’re healthy again. A single handkerchief, on the other hand, will aid you through many maladies before it has to be replaced.

How to get the most out of your hanky

So, now that you’re no doubt convinced of the many hanky benefits, let’s look at some ways to maximize your usage. We can even think of it as Hanky Hacks!

No?

Okay…

Give it a wash

Imagine being enveloped in soft, comforting cotton. That’s what your nose feels like when you use a handkerchief. If you want to crank it from just soft to ultra-soft, with every wash it will get softer.

Imagine that, a product that actually gets better with time.

Of course, if you want soothing smoothness from day 1, just get a 100% super-soft cotton handkerchief. That’s what I’ve done with HankyBook – my innovative new handkerchief design.

Pop it in your pocket

As you may or may not know, an economy box of tissues doesn’t quite fit into most people’s purses.

And, we’ve more or less scientifically established that nobody uses just one or two tissues.

Luckily, what is a hanky if not portable? Simply pop it in your bag, keep it in your pocket (although traditional hankies don’t make ideal pocket squares), or stash it in your wallet.

Voila!

Keep it ick-free

If you really want to ascend to the level of hanky master, you must perfect a good folding strategy. A great fold to maximize use and minimize germs can be seen here:

Start with 6 folds on both sides. Once those are messy, flip your hanky inside out for another 2 folds – even 4 if you’re really gifted. The result is over 8 folds to soak up mess, without leaking it inside your pockets.

For step-by-step instructions on how to fold your handkerchief, be sure to check out my video guide.

In fact, I was attempting something similar when I came up for the idea for HankyBook!

So, if you haven’t quite perfected the fold yet, HankyBook is a great alternative. Not only is the folding done for you, but the covers and pages also trap germs to prevent the “ick” from getting anywhere near you or your possessions.

HankyBook
I’ve got one HankyBook in my pocket

How to clean your handkerchief

Your handkerchief keeps you clean… but how do you keep your hanky clean? And, make no mistake, keeping it clean is essential- you don’t want to turn your lovely helper into a germ-rag.

Luckily, cleaning a hanky is not too complicated. We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to make things a little simpler.

1.       Pop it in the washing machine.

2.       And enjoy!

And that’s it!

A quick wash along with your other items and your hanky will be delightfully clean and fresh. Just make sure you put it through a hot cycle from time to time.

Washing handkerchief

You spin me right round, Hanky, right round…

You can also add a little fabric softener for extra smoothness.

Don’t have a washer? No worries!

Simply pop them in boiling water and then wash by hand as you would with your other clothes.

If you are a true handkerCHIEF (sorry), you can even give it a quick iron afterwards.

This will help your hanky feel even softer than usual.  

How many handkerchiefs should you own?

This one is really down to you.

If you have a sensitive nose a good dozen should keep your nose dry even during the itchier months.

If your nose is as agitated as mine, even that might not be enough.

Check out my HankyBook stash:

HankyBooks
Ready. For. Anything.

When it comes to buying a handkerchief, remember, ladies handkerchiefs come in smaller sizes whereas guys tend to prefer hankies that can double as table cloths.

Disapprove
Go figure.

The importance of handkerchiefs

I hope by now you’re as impressed with the noble hanky as we are! If not, then maybe these extra benefits will do the trick!

Handkerchiefs can help you:

Glow up

“Oh, honey, I don’t sweat! I glow.” – You, after you mopped off your sweaty brow with a hanky, leaving just a healthy, pleasing shine.

Wipe off

“Oh no! The red wine! All over the priceless end table that I had borrowed for the weekend from my frail grandmother!” – Not you, since you have a hanky handy to help mop up spills and messes before they stain.

Be trendy

You know what isn’t stylish?

Box of tissues
Cool…

Handkerchiefs, on the other hand, can feel like an extension of your personality and sense of style. Particularly a stylish men’s pocket square, like the image below.

Pocket handkerchief
Now we’re talking!

Break-in

“The suspect who liberated the bank of millions of cold, hard cash, could not be identified, due to a handkerchief covering their face and concealing their identity”

Handkerchief robbery

No one will ever know…

Need even more handkerchief uses?

Check out our 17 uses of handkerchiefs infographic.

Final thoughts

So, in conclusion – hankies are awesome and you can use them however you want.

That’s the beauty: handkerchiefs are reliable, versatile and a throwback that is actually good for the future of our planet. They’re great for men, women, and children.

As for my passion project: the HankyBook – it might be even more versatile as we’ve documented in our “23 uses of the HankyBook” guide.

Whether you go for a traditional handkerchief or a cute HankyBook – it’s time to turn the page on tissues.

Happy blowing!

The Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper and Handkerchief Alternative

The Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper and Handkerchief Alternative

In this age of shameless marketing, people are more suspicious about claims stating “eco-friendly” on any product packaging. As they should be! Many so-called sustainable products are really not as eco-friendly as you’d hope. Less about the “green” of the earth than about the “green” in their wallets.

When selling eco-friendly products to consumers who care about the planet, transparency should be a quality all manufacturers strive for. To that end, let me make the case why I think HankyBooks are good for the earth and a genuinely eco-friendly tissue solution.

The Eco-Friendly Tissue Alternative

HankyBook is a reusable product, acting as a modern alternative to paper tissues. Those tissues, of course, come from trees, using up a large amount of water and chemicals in the process of making them. Most of the tissue paper used in this country is from virgin fiber, meaning it is not recycled but comes directly from trees cut down specifically to make them. Americans on average, go through about 50 pounds of tissue paper per person per year. About ten percent of that is made up of facial tissue.

Now, if that tissue had a long-life then that would certainly begin to offset some of the environmental cost. 

Trees are a precious resource. Not least because they act as nature’s own carbon storage. Transforming them into paper also uses a great deal of energy – all for something that is used once and then discarded. In fact, 80% of all products sold in the United States are used just one time and then thrown away.

But single-use tissues are, as the name implies, only good for one use. And because of the chemicals within the tissue, which help to bind the material together, they don’t degrade or recycle well. 

If you are interested in sustainability and zero-waste, then no doubt you’re aware of recycled tissue paper and have likely even given it a try. And after a pack and a red, raw nose you probably realized – there must be a better solution. 

The Evolution of the Handkerchief

With the HankyBook, I wanted to create a genuine eco-friendly to Kleenex and other tissues. A product created to admittedly solve a very human problem (read about my struggles with sniffles here) but that can also tackle wastefulness at the core of our society by providing a reusable tissue option that you can use over and over again without creating waste.

HankyBook
Me and my Hanky!

HankyBooks are crafted from 100% certified organic cotton. This means no pesticides or insecticides are used in the growing of the cotton. Traditional cotton growing uses massive amounts of synthetic pesticide and insecticide – they are some of the most chemically treated crops in the world. Organic cotton production utilizes none of these harmful chemicals, for the well-being of the earth as well as the farmers growing it.

Soft to the touch. Soft to the earth.

If you want to learn more about the environmental impact of tissues, I wrote a longer guide focused on handkerchiefs vs tissues here.

Enjoy and if you try out some of our HankyBooks, please let me know what you think.

Hanky vs Tissue: Which is better for the environment?

Hanky vs Tissue: Which is better for the environment?

The tissue is as commonplace today as the handkerchief was a century ago.

But as we become more aware of our impact on the planet, it may be time to wonder: is tissue paper eco-friendly? Are handkerchiefs better for the environment?

Today we’re going to take a closer look at the hanky or tissue debate. Our planet is precious, and people who believe in sustainability want to know how to live an eco-friendly life. We may have a slight bias towards the HankyBook, but we’re going to stick to the facts.  

The issue With tissues

Tissue paper is made from the timber pulp and while some of this timber is produced using renewable practices, with new trees replacing those that are cut down, much of it is not.

Kimberly-Clark, the producers of Kleenex, eventually buckled to a Greenpeace campaign (called “Kleercut”) to get the company to reduce the amount of virgin forests (old forests that have been untouched until now, and which are the home to many endangered species) being cut down to produce tissue paper.

Forest

However, on their website, they still note that they source 30% of their fiber from the Atlantic Forest – a UNESCO World Heritage site that has seen 85% of its forest removed. The plant and animal diversity in this forest are among the greatest in the world, but their home is being decimated.

Next time you blow your nose and immediately throw your tissue in the trash, spare a thought for the orangutangs, pumas, and the thousands of other species that are being pushed to the edge of extinction.  

Are tissues biodegradable and recyclable?

The problem with the tissue paper goes far beyond that of production. Did you know that most tissues cannot be recycled?

Toxic waste
Meanwhile, at Kleenex…

The additives used to reinforce the tissues means they should probably not be composted. They will eventually break down, but it can take months or longer, depending on how the tissue was reinforced.

You feel an itch on your nose, grab a tissue and enjoy a satisfying sneeze. Then it’s in the trash. The years it took to make that tissue ends in just a few seconds. Scale that example to the world’s populations and we’re creating mountains of tissue papers.

There are a few tissue brands that use recycled paper. I know: I tried them all. The problem with recycled tissue paper, and why they haven’t caught on, is that they are very rough on the skin. Not exactly a fun experience at all! 

Handkerchief Vs. Tissue – An Analysis

While the tissue dominates modern culture, the handkerchief is experiencing a resurgence. The question still lingers as to which option is better for the environment. A deep analysis and comparison of the problem was conducted by Greenlifestylemag, using data from Duke University research on paper and Cambridge University research on textiles.

They compared a 1 g tissue with a 15 g handkerchief. If you think that makes no sense because hankies are reusable, don’t worry, they also factored in an estimate of 520 uses for the full lifespan of a handkerchief — just marginally greater than the few seconds of life that a tissue has 😉

They studied the effects of water footprint, energy, and waste. In every category, they concluded that the hanky was easily the more sustainable option.  

The Verdict

With the hanky being the obvious choice for those of us that want a more sustainable solution for sneezes and sniffles, we’re proud to say that the HankyBook is the best handkerchief around. It has practical functions to reduce the use of paper towels and is even more environmentally-friendly than the typical hanky.

Handkerchief blow

If you think that switching from tissue to HankyBook is going to be too hard; think again. In our experience, once someone tries the HankyBook for a few weeks they can’t imagine going back to disposable tissues. See for yourself.

You’ll find that the 100% organic cotton is soft to the touch, that the stitched pages and cover keep germs at bay, and that the stylish design makes it the perfect companion for everything from spill cleaning to nose blowing. When you factor in the environmental footprint and how many forests are being lost to create tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper – it really becomes a choice of significance.

Try your first HankyBook today and enjoy 10% off and free shipping when you use the code HBSHOP at checkout.

The Classy Guide to Vintage Handkerchiefs

The Classy Guide to Vintage Handkerchiefs

Not too long ago, everyone had a handy-dandy vintage handkerchief, but those old-time hankies don’t need to be antiques off a shelf, there are plenty of ways to give life to a stunning hanky without it having to feel like a fragile hand-me-down from grandma’s grandma…

Vintage handkerchiefs are dainty, pretty but also decorative and functional. They might have some stunning embroidery and patterns that could bring a DIY to life or bring a splash to your home décor.

Vintage handkerchiefs

Are old handkerchiefs worth anything?

Besides sentimental value… it depends.

Collectors and crafters will be the one’s willing to fork out on antique handkerchiefs but it very much depends on the hanky in question – age, condition, type all factor in.

For something special you can potentially sell from $10 all the way to $50 as this example attests:

An antique, white-on-white edged with hand-tatted medallions. A bridal heirloom once converted to a christening cap, it later was used by the original owner’s great-granddaughter as her bridal handkerchief, and has a value of $40 to $50.

What can I do with vintage handkerchiefs?

So what does one do with the frills and embroidery? Well, treat it like fabric!

The first goodie on this list is using it as a fabric square. You can use vintage hankies to make anything that would require some bits and bobs of fabric, a baby burp cloth, a small pouch or a decorative pillow or even a lovely quilt.

Speaking of which, look no further than this guide to turning your vintage hankies into a gorgeous quilt. I know what my next DIY project is!

Handkerchief quilt
An epic work indeed. c/o onelittlepooh,net

Whatever you intend to craft, just think creatively. You can sew a hanky on the front of a pillow to give it some style or cut out the embroidery bits for smaller details on an existing cover.  The same goes for anything in your house that might need some snazz, including the collar of your shirt. Feel free to use the same method on table clothes, curtain, towels and even kitchen cloths.

To make a small pouch, you can just look up a simple drawstring pattern and turn that vintage square into a retro jewellery bag. This is a straightforward beginner sewing project if you are looking to venturing into a hanky gift or even just a new hobby.

There is obviously a reason why handkerchiefs were such great hits; they are perfect for everyone in the family. It can be a pocket square for dad or even a baby burp cloth for the little one. Luckily, both of these require no changes to the original Hanky, but if you like you can stitch a small towel to the back of the hanky to give that burp cloth some extra thickness or as I like to call it, damage control.

For larger items such as the quilt, you might need a few vintage handkerchiefs. Luckily we are about to get into that. Surprisingly, it is not that hard to find vintage hankies…

Where can I find vintage handkerchiefs?

You can actually very easily find vintage ladies handkerchiefs or vintage fabrics on craft markets and online stores such as Etsy or eBay. This is often where people sell their own if they don’t know what to do with them or if they are just people that used to collect them, so you could put together quite a shopping basket.

If you want to turn this into a bit of an adventure, look up the closest thrift or charity store to find some hidden treasure in between all the boxes and rails, who knows, you might even walk out with a nice coat. Local markets are another great source so next time you’re spending a lazy Sunday at the market, keep an eye out for an eye-catching antique handkerchief that could be the star of your next craft project.

How do I wash and care for a vintage handkerchief?

If you did pick up your hanky from a stranger or a second-hand shop you might want to give it a bit of a clean first before you turn it into a doily. Vintage fabrics tend to fade over time, they might be a bit yellow, but don’t let that worry you! Even some good aging in a storage box can cause discolouration.

Luckily there are easy ways to clean it that don’t include dropping off a tiny hanky at a dry-cleaner.

First of all, don’t bleach your vintage hankies! Bleach will only weaken the fibres of your already antique fabric. Instead, you can mix together equal parts of baking soda, white vinegar and some peroxide and gently rub it into the fabric. If you need to get some tough spots out, gently brush then with a toothbrush. Once this is done, give it a good cold wash and let it dry in the sun.

If that doesn’t work many swear by using fresh lemon juice and salt on the stain and then once again waiting to dry, giving it a cold wash and (hopefully) your vintage hanky will now be strain-free. 

What about ironing?

Once again, gentle is the word of the day. Wet the hanky a little, and a mild heat – just enough to press it properly should do the trick. For vintage embroidered handkerchiefs, always iron with the embroidery facing down – ideally with an ironing board that has some nice cushion to it.

Sometimes the best use is the most obvious

While we could spend all day talking about ways to upcycle this vintage token, there is no reason why you can’t use it for its original purpose? Keep it in your pocket to whip away those tears when the bachelor picks the wrong girl, or if one of the kids has a runny nose.

Just remember to also keep a HankyBook in your back pocket for more serious “spills.”😉

Hankybook in back pocket

Take it from the Handkerchief Lady: one day your HankyBooks will also become treasured keepsakes!

Summary

With that being said, vintage handkerchiefs can be quite fun, whether you appreciate sentiment or just enjoy some simple DIY. So don’t be scared to jazz it up and use it around the house, this vintage fabric has clearly passed the test of time, so don’t be afraid to give it some modern, 21st-century love.

From vintage to eco-friendly and modern

Be sure to check out my 6 picks of hankies every lady should own.

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