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 and free shipping 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.
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…
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…
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…
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.
Forget about diamonds! A hanky is a woman’s best friend. Historically known as a handkercher or kerchief, it helps to wipe those unavoidable wedding tears, blow a persistent runny nose or even save the planet (think landfills).
Every woman can rely on a good handkerchief during times of love and sorrow. Now, that’s what friends are for!
A lady’s handkerchief defines who she is, no matter how you look at it. It’s no wonder Kathleen Kelly from the film, “You’ve Got Mail” gets so passionate about hankies when she offers one to Annabel to blow her runny nose.
“A handkerchief is a Kleenex you don’t throw away” (thanks Kathleen – you know how I like my hankies).
I know hankies and below I’ve picked out my 6 favorites for your consideration.
You can jump to that list now, or you can continue on to read a bit more about the history and characteristics of handkerchiefs for women.
Where does the ladies hanky come from?
We won’t bore you with all the facts, but basically, handkerchiefs come from the Roman Poet Catullus in the first century B.C. and were used to shield or veil the face and mouth to wipe off sweat.
It was a luxury item reserved for the rich and famous, due to linen being extremely expensive at the time. By the first century A.D, however, the middle and lower classes gained more access to handkerchiefs when they were more easily and cheaply imported.
Up until the 18th century, the handkerchief was made in many shapes and sizes including rectangle, square and round.
PS: Don’t take my word for it, but Marie Antoinette believes the square hanky works the best. Truly a tastemaker ahead of her time!
Nowadays, hankies are used for many things – from cleaning hands, dabbing away tears and fixing runny makeup. This small piece of fabric comes in very handy to mop up life’s spills. It takes up limited space and is super easy to clean and store.
A man’s hanky is typically 12 x 12 inches square, but typical ladies’ hankies vary from 8 x 8 to 10 x 10 inches. But really, if you prefer the extract landscape to catch your sneezes and spills I say there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a guy-sized handkerchief.
What’s the best fabric for women’s handkerchiefs?
There are many different materials and types of handkerchiefs available online – it just depends on your taste and what you’ll use it for.
Cotton or linen is your best bet if you’re a girl who loves luxurious items. If you like to keep things a bit more personal, get a monogrammed cotton hanky embroidered to make your special day memorable. Is vintage more your thing? Choose silk, lace or a cotton-synthetic blend with a beautiful design or pattern.
Is tissue paper really that bad?
Unfortunately, they kinda are.
Tissue is made from timber pulps and additives which are not easily recyclable. Although tissue has become very popular since the 20th century and dominates modern culture, it’s bad for the environment and your beloved washing machine.
So, next time you reach for a Kleenex, think zero-waste and sustainability first.
Where to buy ladies’ handkerchiefs online? Our top 6 list.
For the sophisticated woman
If you’re looking for a beautifully designed vintage hanky, Orange Soda Panda is your one-stop-shop.
This company produces beautiful hankies fit for a queen. The Mario Valentino vintage hanky (18” x 17.5”) is my personal favorite as it’s in great condition and the perfect accessory for any day out.
The hankies, made of quality cotton, are super soft and gorgeous. Choose from a variety of styles and patterns and be the star of the show at your next event. Marie Antoinette will approve…
For the eco-friendly lady
If you follow a zero-waste lifestyle, you’ll be happy to know that Juniper Seed Merc caters for all your hanky needs.
Their handkerchiefs are organic, unbleached, sustainably grown and made of soft bamboo fabric, blended with 10% cotton. “Buttery decadence” indeed!
They work wonderfully to clean your home and can also be used for napkins, cloths, towels and baby wipes. Say goodbye to tissue and welcome this highly absorbent hanky into your home – your family will love you for it.
For a girl who just wants it all
Want the sustainable benefits but with a hygienic (and super cute) package? I designed the HankyBook (with it’s “book” shape containing outer covers sealing germs inside and absorbent soft cotton “pages”) to keep germs and ick from spreading.
A successful Kickstarter campaign later and the world was introduced to HankyBooks.
HankyBooks are made here in the US with luxuriously soft, 100% organic cotton material. They also come in a range of cute designs to cater for everyone’s taste.
You’ve never seen a woman’s handkerchief like this before, and it offers even more benefits than a typical hanky. In fact, here are at least 23 distinct uses of the HankyBook.
Pop one in your pocket or bag when you head out and trust me, you’ll be glad to have your hanky handy.
For the lady with personal taste
Every girl loves showing off her personality and Simply Sweet Hankies makes this possible with their adorable monogrammed handkerchiefs. Customize your message or initials with gold or silver thread and always keep your hanky by your side.
To wash: Fill your sink with hot water and add a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Put your hanky in the water and make sure it absorbs the water for 30 minutes. Rinse it, and voila – as good as new!
For the quirky lady
If you love color, nature or cats, these reusable handkerchiefs with mixed prints from Sea and Sand Home Design are right up your alley!
The soft cotton flannels measure approximately 10 x 10 inches and, although great as a gift, I like to keep them for myself. Pop them into your purse and use them over and over again.
For the vintage hunter
Finally, not a hanky – more of a tip.
Wondering where to buy ladies handkerchiefs?
Before I became a HankyBook convert, my favorite method of finding handkerchiefs was to seek out thrift stores – particularly those that specialized in vintage items.
It’s a bit more work but you can find some beautiful designs and styles. And when you do, it feels all the more special having made the discovery yourself.
Get out those handkerchiefs, ladies
To some, the handkerchief may seem old-fashioned, but trust me, it’s an essential accessory for every purse, pocket or handbag. Whether it’s for the allergy season, accidents or makeup on the run, a handkerchief is your best and most trustworthy companion.
Take my word for it, once you switch from single-use tissues to reusable handkerchiefs, you’ll never go back.
A handkerchief is an accessory that
sets some men apart from others.
If you aren’t struggling with a cold
or hayfever, you may not need a handkerchief most days. But on that day that
you do pull out your trusty hanky to tend to a wounded child. Or improvise a
temporary fix on a car or plumbing that will hold until you make it to the next
That’s when you realize – every man
should carry a handkerchief.
There aren’t many things that you can’t do with a piece of material. With enough knowledge of how to fold it, you can be a 21st-century MacGuyver (ask a boomer) that will inspire those around you. Perhaps even leave your crush weak at the knees for your ingenuity — unless of course it’s your crushes weak knee that you’re looking to remedy with a splint or bandage of some description.
Or maybe you’re a stylish fella,
rocking a dapper, white pocket square to elevate your look.
Before we get to our selection of
the best men’s handkerchiefs around, let’s cover a few frequently asked
Rapid-fire Handkerchief Questions
What is the typical size of a men’s handkerchief?
The typical men’s hanky size is
12×12 inches or 30 cm, which is around 33% bigger than the standard female
handkerchief. Upwards of 17 inches is also not uncommon for both handkerchiefs
and men’s pocket squares.
But hey, don’t let anyone tell you
that size matters. If it does the job, that’s what counts!
How to wear handkerchiefs
Wear handkerchiefs however you want!
Bandanna, back pocket, around the
neck – you do you.
And if you’re looking to add a stylish accessory, a pocket square always looks hella-charming.
There are many fabric options and
ultimately personal taste will play a big factor.
Cotton is probably the most common
hanky fabric – it is absorbent, light and durable. But the softness depends on
the quality of the cotton used.
Silk is soft as, well, silk. It’s
also very light and more absorbent than you’d think.
Fine linen is also a great choice –
it will soften up with every wash and should stand the test of time.
Five Of The Best Men’s Handkerchiefs
For the Casual Man
These classic, colorful hankies from
Zenssia are perfect for any guy who wants a
handkerchief that is functional more than it is fashionable. Don’t get me
wrong, these colorful plaid hankies look great, but they’re not going to serve
as pocket square’s for a night out on the town.
The cotton is ultra-soft and the thread count of these handkerchiefs offers enough thickness for the manliest nose blowing.
Perfect for the outdoors, these
hankies are great travel companions.
The only downside – assuming you
like the style – is that they are quite stiff when new. But keep using and
washing them and eventually they start to soften up.
For the Healthy Man
If germ spread from handkerchiefs
puts you off, the HankyBook is the next step of the handkerchief that you’ve
been waiting for.
HankyBooks are made from ultra-soft
cotton, shaped into pages with outer “covers” designed to keep the
germs locked inside.
Simply blow or sneeze and then turn
the page. The germs are unable to spread so you won’t infect loved ones – or
HankyBooks are also a great
companion for wiping away sweat, mopping up spills, and even filling in as a
makeshift coaster for your cool brew. They’re also unique, eco-friendly, and
great conversation starters.
And just for our readers, order a HankyBook now and enjoy 10% off when using the code:
Not your ordinary men’s handkerchief
hanky is for men
who live a life of danger. The handkerchief, created by an Icelandic designer,
is made from Kevlar to make it literally bulletproof.
Simply place it in your breast
pocket, covering your heart, and I guess hope that the bad guy doesn’t go for a
Hmmm – maybe it can be used as a
bandanna as well…
I can’t say how effective the hanky
is at actually doing normal tasks – or for that matter whether it can really
stop a bullet – but if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, this could
be the pocket square for you.
For the Outdoors Man
Speaking of Kevlar, here is another manly handkerchief that incorporates the super material. Only this time it’s not for stopping bullets, rather it’s the ultimate campsite rag. The main claim to fame seems to be that the material doesn’t catch fire and is incredibly durable and resistant to heat.
So if you need help picking up hot
coals, flaming sticks, simmering pots – the Camp
Rag Handkerchief is just for you.
The Camp Rag also claims to help filter water to purify it (fair enough), helps protect from knife attacks (uhhh), prevent credit card skimming (didn’t know that was a big camping problem), and protect against EMPs (we’re backing away slowly).
Forget the silly claims and focus on
the flexible functionality on offer and this robust hanky could be the ideal
choice for you.
For the Gentleman
Finally, every man should have a couple of classic white handkerchiefs in the drawer. This pure white hanky set from Ricosky is not going to raise any eyebrows or stop any bullets. But if you looking for handkerchiefs that are solid and simple, these may be the right choice for you.
Just note, the size is 16″ x
16″ however there may be some shrinking after washing. And they do wrinkle
easily, so ironing is essential.
Wrapping It Up
Handkerchiefs are coming back in
fashion, particularly for men. These days there are so many choices online –
from the wild and wonderful to the classic and classy.
You never know what life is going to throw at you, so make sure you have handkerchiefs on hand to tackle any sweat, spills, and sneezes that may come your way.