Not only is the constant sniffling a pain, but all the wiping and blowing can lead to your already delicate nose being rubbed raw. Ugh.
At least we have the softness and absorbency of organic cotton handkerchiefs to see us through these troubling times!
Hankies? You mean tissues, right?
Nope. Where have you been? Paper tissues are old news!
Let’s look at the facts. Tissues are:
Terrible for the environment
A single-use tissue takes so many resources to end up in your hand. And then a quick honk on your nose-horn and they go straight in the bin. Or the landfill because recycling tissue paper is actually not easy.
And tissues are made of paper, you know. You’re basically wiping your nose on thousands and thousands of trees!
Hankies, however, are clearly the more sustainable option, mostly because they are reusable. Made out of soft, organic cotton, just toss your handkerchief in the wash to be used over and over again – making the impact lighter on your wallet and on the planet!
People tend to think of tissues as more hygienic than hankies – you simply blow your nose and toss them safely in the bin along with the germs, right?
In theory, yes. But think about it this way: you’re at the supermarket, out at the park, or busy typing away on that new report when you have to blow your nose… are you getting up to find a bin? Or are you quickly tossing it wherever is handy – your bag, your desk, etc?
A bunch of snotty rags stashed in your handbag? Uh… no thanks.
At least handkerchiefs can be folded to keep germs trapped – or just use a HankyBook.
And very unstylish
These days, it’s all about individuality. You can customize everything from your nails to your phone cover to your face mask… so why stick with boring old tissues?
Handkerchiefs, on the other hand, offer an endless range of styles and variations. From a crisp, simple option, to the bright and funky ones, hankies are the perfect way to express your unique sense of style.
Is organic cotton better than cotton?
Is there really that much of a difference? You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to etc.
Okay, seriously – who actually says po-tah-to? Probably the same kind of person who thinks organic and non-organic cotton is the same! Let’s look at the reality of non-organic cotton:
The main difference between organic and non-organic cotton is how it’s grown. As the world’s most popular material, it can be difficult for farmers to keep up with demand, leading quite a few to resort to artificial ways of speeding up the process.
While organic cotton is grown naturally, non-organic often makes use of… synthetic chemicals.
It may not seem like that big of a deal, but the use of certain chemicals and pesticides can irritate skin and potentially disturb the earth’s soil and water balance.
Less than pure
Non-organic cotton is usually machine-picked, meaning the purity and integrity of the fibers can become lost or damaged.
Hand-picked organic cotton, on the other hand, retains the purity and softness of the cotton, which leads us to our next point…
And just plain itchy
If you want softness and durability in your cotton products, organic is the way to go. Free from irritating chemicals, environmentally damaging herbicides, and hand=picked for strength and purity, this is the only material you want near your nose!
The best organic cotton handkerchiefs
Well, first of all, you definitely want a handkerchief that is made from organic, breathable cotton. Not only are organically sourced hankies better for the environment, but the soft cotton material is also gentle on the skin and ultra-absorbent.
Second of all: why stop at just one? Get a bunch and mix and match your stylish accessories!
So, with that in mind, let’s look at some of the best organic cotton handkerchiefs for all types of people:
Did you know that back in Roman times, hankies were considered luxury items? It makes sense: dainty, elegant and ever so chic, a hanky is the ultimate fashion accessory.
Whether you’re discreetly dabbing away a tear, touching up your makeup, or just love cute swathes of cotton, today’s hankies can be just as elegant and feminine as when our ancestors used them. Just take a look at these pretty pastels or these floral stunners. Throw in this vintage handkerchief and you’ll truly have a stylish hanky for every occasion.
The problem solver
One doesn’t exactly think of organic handkerchiefs in terms of innovation – but they never met me.
An engineer background
A passion for creating sustainable products
A runny nose that never says quit
Those three things were the impetus behind my creating HankyBook’s soft, sustainably sourced, super soft organic cotton “pages” in the form of a book shape that is easy to use AND keeps germs from spreading.
Hankies aren’t just for sneezes, you know. They can also be used to mop up grease spills from your motorbike, the sweat from your brow after a long day of work, or even a tear or two…
Hey, it’s 2021, there’s nothing wrong with shedding a few manly tears!
Especially not when you’re wiping them away with a stylish, masculine option like this one or this one. While bold, darker colors and classic square shapes are timeless, don’t be afraid to let loose and play around with a few polka dots!
The green queen (or king!)
As mentioned above, cotton hankies are great for the environment, especially when certified organic and made out of 100% cotton.
It stands to reason then that any eco-friendly warrior worth their salt would naturally be a fan of these clean and green anti-germ machines. And, with a large variety of plain, patterned or downright unique options to choose from, caring about the planet has never looked this good!
Some people just radiate individuality and charm. They never follow trends – they set them! So, if you are someone who marches to the beat of their own drum – why not blow your nose to your very own personalized handkerchief?
You can customize your hanky with anything from your name to an important date to a favorite quote or saying. Not only will you be blowing your nose or wiping up spills in style, but you’ll also be able to express your personality in a truly unique way. One thing’s for certain: there’s only one of you in the world and only one of your hanky!
The humble hankie has many uses – from blowing your nose to cleaning your hands, to mopping up life’s many little spills and mishaps. Not only are they soft, absorbent and stylish – they’re cost-effective and eco-friendly too. Not bad for a little piece of fabric!
Remember, when choosing a hanky, try to pick out one that is 100% certified organic cotton. Your nose, wallet, and planet will thank you!
If you’ve been wondering how to fold a handkerchief for an oh-so-elegant suit pocket look, you’ve come to the right place.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try out a fancy handkerchief fold. Or maybe you tried, and the result was something that looks more like you’ve stuffed a sock in your suit pocket.
Or maybe you used your hanky for…function, and now you are worried about getting your pocket dirty if you don’t wrap up the ick.
Whatever the reason, we are here to help!
Handkerchiefs + Suits = Peanut Butter + Jelly
Styling your suit with a hanky or a pocket square is a must for many reasons:
First, it adds that pop of color you might be missing!
Second, it can complement your tie or bow.
Third, it looks pretty posh! Someone might even call you sir…
Fourth, just to change your look up a bit. The same suit can be given a fresh look with a different fold and pop of color.
A pocket square is truly timeless if you do it right. And now – let me show you how to do it right!
7 different handkerchief folds to cover all occasions.
The Presidential Fold
This is an effortless fold, no origami required! All you need to do is fold your hanky in half (or as many times as you need to fit the width of your shirt pocket. (Side-to-side)
Once you have the width folded nicely, fold it over again at the height (top to bottom), but don’t take it all the way, allow a centimeter or so to show off both edges.
Now you can easily pop it into your shirt with both edges facing outwards and upwards!
Single Corner Fold
This is also quite an easy fold, similar to the first one. We are going to fold our hanky in half, but this time, diagonally.
From there on, we will take the two corners on the outer side and fold them in halfway, one at a time.
You should have a shape with a single corner/triangle pointing upwards and two folds over the middle. This will be the side facing up and out of your shirt pocket.
Double Corner Fold
This one is exactly like the Presidential Fold, but with an interesting and easy twist.
Again, fold your hanky over diagonally, but here is the twist. Have the corners that would touch miss each other slightly so that you have two points next to each other. Now we just repeat the process and fold in the side corners halfway on both sides to allow it to fit in your pocket.
Allow the folds to point outwards and the two tips upward.
It looks intricate, but it took just a few seconds.
Three Corner Fold
By now you should get the hang of these. This time we are going to try three corners/tips. A little more intricate but still something anyone can do.
Firstly fold your handkerchief diagonally as in the Double Corner Fold, allowing the corners to just miss each other at the top. Now you take the left long corner on the fold and fold it upwards, allowing its corner to run parallel to the two tips you just folded. Take the right side and wrap it across and around to hold it all together.
You now have a crown in your pocket!
The Puff Fold
This is as easy as it gets.
Lay your hanky flat down, pinch the centre and pull it up. You should now be holding it in a way that allows all the corners to hang evenly. Now you can take these ends and fold them up if they are too long for your pocket and leave the closed “puff” facing upwards in your pocket.
And you thought creating stylish folds for your suit would be hard!
Upside Down Pinch
Similar to the Puff Fold, we are going to pinch the centre of the hanky and pick it up. Slide your hands over the hanging fabric to reduce the “puff”. Now, taking the pinched centre, we are going to start rolling it into a fold towards the open end.
When the hanky is a pocket worthy size, you can flip it upside down and pop the folded side into your pocket, leaving the ends exposed like an open flower.
So far, so easy – right?
Well, that’s about to end.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for some origami!
We know you can do this, but if you get lost, you can just follow the images!
First, fold your hanky in half, diagonally. Then take one corner and fold it back towards the long folded side. Allow the corner to go just past the folded line. It should now look like a diamond on a square shape.
Take this same corner and bring it back, again just past the folded line. Repeat this process until you have a completed zig-zag pattern.
From there on you will turn your creation over and fold in the sides to fit into your pocket, as with the previous styles.
Pop it in with the zigzags facing outwards and adjust if necessary.
You have truly become the James Bond of hanky origami. You will quickly notice that these folds come quite naturally once you have some practice. Also keep in mind that while these are some of our favorite folds, there are no right or wrong styles!
Give it an extra corner, give it an extra twist, do it upside down or inside out. The only thing that matters is that you feel amazing and dashing!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
“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.
“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.
You know what isn’t stylish?
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.
“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”
No one will ever know…
Need even more handkerchief uses?
Check out our 17 uses of handkerchiefs infographic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 when you use the code HBSHOP at checkout.
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.
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!
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.”😉
Take it from the Handkerchief Lady: one day your HankyBooks will also become treasured keepsakes!
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.
If you are here you have surely opted for a greener lifestyle, either that or you are looking for a new DIY project to keep your hands busy.
As someone who is interested in sustainable solutions (which is where the idea for HankyBook came from), I am obsessed with eco-friendly products and projects. Right now I’m looking into the possibility of selling dryer balls, but I wanted to see for myself:
How hard is it to make a DIY dryer ball?
Turns out: a bit harder than I thought it would be. It took some trial and error but having gone through the steps myself, this video and article guide to DIY wool dryer balls will hopefully make your experience significantly easier 😊
What are Dryer Balls?
Dryer balls are fluffy-looking balls made of wool or spikey plastic (for those allergic to wool) that get into all the clumped up laundry to ensure that warm air can flow through items to reduce static and drying time. Basically, dryer balls help our clothes become soft and fluffy – without lint!
The ultimate adulting goal.
Did I mention they are also an excellent chemical softener replacement?
To understand the process myself, and to be able to offer you tips, I decided to make them myself to give you all the tricks on the go. (I call them tricks, but it is more like mistakes I made that you could avoid…)
Here is a short video that I made to show you the key steps. Give that a watch and then read on for more detail because the video makes it seem a bit easier than the actual experience.
Not being much of a knitter, I had absolutely no idea how much fluff I would need or how much fluff would be enough fluff to prevent fluff? You know what I mean?
Looking back, the easiest way to tackle these balls would be to get your hands on one ball of 100% wool felt. (If it looks like cotton candy, you found the gem.)
Unfortunately, I could not get my hands on this glorious fluff, so after some trial and error (again) I found that unravelling 100% wool yarn works perfectly for that fluffy ball look. If you don’t mind the strings, then the easy (peaceful) way out would be to use the yarn as it.
So before I get into any more detail, let me give you a rundown of what you will need:
Dryer Ball Item Checklist
You will need:
· 1 ball of 100% wool felt or yarn (unravel it, if you prefer the smooth felt look)
· 1 pair of stockings, feet cut off
· Some bits of leftover material such as knit or cotton
· Essential oils of your choice (optional), we used lemon for a fresh burst!
Overall the process is straightforward, it took me a few tries because some guides fail to mention small details, hopefully with some of my tips you can get perfect fluffy balls first time!
To start it off, you will need to cut off the foot of your stocking to a nice, long sock. Obviously the more balls you want to make, the more length you will need.
Next up you want to grab your leftover material bits and twist it into a nice, tight little ball. Stick a needle in it to keep it in place. Obviously you would like to get this as tight and round as possible as this will be the core of your fluffy mission.
Next up, as obvious as it is, start wrapping the wool around the ball of fabric. I started off going “Criss Cross” around the ball to hold the fabric in place, after that I went around with more “effort” to fill it up to a nice round ball shape.
Remember to keep it tight at all times, you don’t want it to unravel. Most times they tell you to use the unravelled felted wool, it is amazing and traditional (I guess), but I do feel that your entry-level ball can be made using spun wool yarn. It is much easier to get a good grip and tighten the ends.
Once you are happy with your size, you can cut the end and tuck it under one of the layers. I made sure mine were about the size of tennis balls so that if it doesn’t work; the dog has something to play with.
Just kidding, but if it happens, remember that dryer ball wool is baby and pet friendly.
Stuff your fluffy DIY dryer balls it the stocking, twist it tightly and tie a knot on the end to keep it snug. You can now repeat the process and make a string of balls if you would like. The more the merrier!
One of the key tips I can give you is keeping your dryer balls tight, as repetitive as it may sound. Everything from the material all the way to the stocking knot. My first two unravelled quite quickly, but my third one was about as uptight as the lady who sold me the wool and it has a perfect shape!
Now you can pop your wool dryer balls into the washing machine, I didn’t want to waste a cycle, so I just popped it in with some towels.
You can now carry on with your day because once the laundry wash is over, those wool dryer balls need to dry all the way to the core when they come out. Sure, you could pop them in a tumble dryer, but I found that doing so did not dry the centre.
How do I know the centre was not dry? Let me tell you a fun story, if it does not dry all the way, it smells and unravels!
So definitely err on the side of caution during the drying process. A good dryer ball is a dry dryer ball.
And there you have it! (almost)
Dryer Ball Success (at last)
My third and final dryer ball was tight, snug and hung to dry for a full 24 hours. When I cut it open, it was firm and glorious! We succeeded, ladies and gentlemen!
After admiring my fluffy balls for a minute or two, I added one finishing touch. I added a few drops of essential oils to give my laundry a nice fresh burst.
So there you have it, toss them in the dryer and let the magic begin. They won’t ever need to be washed and they should be good for 2-3 years. My clothes came out soft and fresh and I didn’t need to use any fabric softener.
Now that you know how to make wool dryer balls, give it a shot and let me know how you fare.
Being sick blows. And we mean that quite literally. Not only is the constant sniffling a pain, but all the wiping and blowing can lead to your already delicate nose being rubbed raw. Ugh. At least we have the softness and absorbency of organic cotton handkerchiefs to see us through these troubling times! Hankies? You…
If you’ve been wondering how to fold a handkerchief for an oh-so-elegant suit pocket look, you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try out a fancy handkerchief fold. Or maybe you tried, and the result was something that looks more like you’ve stuffed a sock in your suit pocket. Or maybe…
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…
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…
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…
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…
On this site, we talk a lot about hankies, but today we’re talking about balls – dryer balls!
If you have a passion for sustainability, you must have heard of them, they are the new “It Girl” when it comes to an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric.
They are functional, fabulous, and oh-so fluffy.
What Are Dryer Balls?
Dryer balls are sets of balls made of wool or, every now and then, spikey plastic. When placed in the wash with your items, they will get into all of the knots and tangles of your clumped-up laundry.
This effect makes sure the warm air can flow through items to reduce static and drying time, saving your electricity bill from going through the roof. Now that is true love.
Why Wool Dryer Balls?
Time to answer the “not-so-age-old” question, why wool?
Well, chemical softeners are not the friendliest characters when it comes to caring for the environment, and some people even find that the chemicals make their skin dry and itchy.
But fabric softeners are not the only culprits, oh no no no… Dryer sheets contain fragrances made from chemicals, shocker!
These fragrances combined with the acetone in the sheets have actually made people lightheaded and dizzy. In some cases, these two softening villains have even triggered cases of asthma.
Back to the question, why wool? Well, since the yarn it knitted so tightly, these white tennis balls are quite difficult to unravel, which means they are durable (in case you haven’t figured that one out) and, as you’ve probably guessed, they don’t have any of those nasty chemicals knitted inside them.
Yup, they are sweet and innocent inside and out. (Can you hear the choir sing?)
Do Dryer Balls Work?
The question is, do they work? Well, obviously, why else make a fuss about dryer balls on a hanky site? Besides for the fact that these balls do not contain any chemicals, the tightly knit structure means no batteries, refills, subscriptions, terms and conditions or repairs required.
It’s that simple? Yes, but they also reduce static, which means you can wear that interesting Christmas sweater all year round.
How Do Dryer Balls Work?
If you put your laundry in the dryer and pressed start, the wet clothes will just bunch together like wet hair and flop around in a solid pile. If you could get your hands in there and separate them after each turn, they should dry nicely and evenly.
This is exactly what dryer balls do, they roll in between the folds and layers of your clothes to make sure the hot air moves into all the bits so that everything dries evenly. With this being said, you could also expect your drying time to decrease.
Popping about 3-4 balls in your dryer will give you the best results, but hey, go wild!
Tell me more!
Since these balls move their way through the whole pile, even the sleeves of your shirt, the wool from the balls cause friction in the fibres of your clothes so they come out of the dryer soft, fluffy and without that annoying static cling.
I mean, who doesn’t love a fluffy towel?
For those who don’t understand the static problem, the longer you dry your clothes for the more static they become. Overheated clothes are like heated people, ready to zap anyone.
By decreasing the drying time and creating an even heat flow, you can prevent your clothes from becoming static. So no, the balls don’t have magic power, but they do a kind thing.
If you do miss that fresh fragrant smell, all you need to do is add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to the ball.
The balls need room to move
I know we all tend to leave our laundry until it becomes a cute little mountain, but it is important to note that you can’t cram your dryer with clothes. The balls need some room to move and carry the hot air through. No one likes a crowded room.
How Long Do Wool Dryer Balls Last?
By now you must be completely in love with the idea, but the flirting isn’t over. These balls last up to 1000 drying loads, for those who need the math done for them, here we go; if you do 2 loads of drying in a week, that is 104 loads of drying in a year.
You still have 896 loads to go. To make sure it lasts that long, do not keep them stored in a plastic container, let them breathe freely. To hell with it, you can even just leave them in the dryer.
And if your cat attacks your precious balls…
Or your dog decides to run away with your dryer balls, don’t worry, it is perfectly safe for the pup and if they decide to bury them in the ground; it is not the end of the world; they are biodegradable.
How to make your own wool dryer balls?
I decided to make my own dryer balls and documented the process (with video!) – it was a really fun project with a surprisingly steep learning curve, so follow my lead and learn more my mistakes.
If you haven’t tried dryer balls yet, now is the time. Have fun with laundry day and brag about your next electric bill, because hey, we are adults but we’re still allowed to get excited about fluffy things.
I created HankyBook to help sniffle sufferers and the planet.
Sustainable, eco-friendly products are a passion of mine – you can see this in my annually updated sustainable gift guide.
This year, I’m chasing my passion and will be raising awareness of other awesome eco-friendly products, that I hope the HankyBook community will enjoy.
For now, these will fall under the HankyBook umbrella but in the future, I may create a new site, so it’s a bit less confusing.