Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Joy of Handkerchiefs!

Oh, the joy of having washing on the line again! And, perhaps more of an eccentric pleasure, the joy of having a neat pile of ironed handkerchiefs ready to go back into the drawer for daily use...
Shall we have a little peep at this pile of hankies? They're just the random results of my washing and ironing over the last week:
At first, I switched from paper tissues to cloth handkerchiefs for environmental reasons - we'd been using regularly-washed cloths instead of kitchen roll for years.
Then we replaced 'kiddy-wiping cloths' at the table with proper cloth napkins - just as good for the environment but a bit more grown up!Having more or less eliminated paper kitchen rolls in this way, it seemed a bit silly for me to be using a pack of paper tissues a day, so I decided to look out for vintage cloth hankies in the charity shops.And there they were, in beautiful detail and appropriate quality!
At first, I'll be honest, I didn't iron them, or the napkins either. They were a 'green' necessity, not something else to go in the ironing pile. But something strange has happened in the last few years.
I've read a few books and blogs. I've realised that being fairly tidy and organised can be rather more of a delight than a bind. I've discovered that, for me, ironing my well-chosen handkerchiefs and napkins is a simple pleasure, which makes the day seem that much more pleasant.
You don't have to feel the same way - isn't variety the spice of life? But you might like to Google 'handkerchief quilts' if you're wondering what to do with your handkerchiefs that you don't want to use on a daily basis!
You might also like to pop over my blog shop, because I found so many handkerchiefs the other day that I've finally felt generous enought to share some of them!

Tell me - did you or do you use cloth handkerchiefs? What do you think about them? And don't forget to find out who won my OWOH giveaway, in the post below...

21 comments:

Serenata said...

I'd always been a handkerchief user until the last few years...not sure why, but you have reminded me, I used to love ironing hankies...I think they were probably the first thing to learn to iron. Funny how there is something relaxing about ironing and folding a handkerchief. Now I wonder what happened to all mine...?

marigold jam said...

There was me thinking I was the odd one out in not using tissues - I have always used hankies as has my husband. We have a boil up every now and then and I find ironing them a pleasure it's simple, warm, dry and quiet and it provides time to meditate a little whilst doing it. The smell of frehly laundered cotton neatly pressed and ready for us is great too. Loved seeing your washing line too we had one of those when we lived in France! I also use proper table napkins and rarely use paper ones except for picnics so am glad to know I am not alone. Keep up the good work.

Jane

marigold jam said...

Really must learn to proof read BEFORE pressing Post Comment!

Sarah said...

I'm definately one for hankies and have always been that way since a child. Some of mine are so holey and completely useless as you can imagine! but I couldn't possibly bin them. Now - do you put one up your sleeve or in a pocket?
Great collection!

Elizabeth Rimmer said...

Golly, Floss, I was beginning to feel like the only one--- heading over to your shop right now!

Hen said...

Hi Floss,

I have a weakness for these old hankies so it is great to see all yours, thank you. I have both quite a few old ones which I may make into a quilt (one day!) and last year, one fabric company bought out a specially printed panel featuring vintage design hankies. V cute. I'm not a fan of ironing really but funnily enough, I do quite like ironing nice things like vintage hankies and fabric, of course! It's rather satisfying to have a neatly folded pile at the end.
Hen x

Heidi said...

I love these little works of art also and I have a ton left in the shop I was thinking of sewing them together, curtains or a table cloth? oh and when I say sew them together I mean my Mommy as I don't know how to sew! someday

Jane and Chris said...

Sorry, guys. I must be the only person left in the world who uses tissues.Linen napkins? ABSOLUTELY!
Cloths for cleaning etc? ABSOLUTLEY!I just cannot use handkerchiefs.....it's the thought of carrying germs around with me!
Jane x

VintageVicki said...

All 3 of my men use proper hankies but for some reason I still use tissues. Mainly coz I don't always wear clothes with pockets to keep on in.

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

They are lovely!

A few years ago, we traded the paper napkins on a daily basis, for regular (towel) wash cloths. I bought a package of 12 just for this purpose.

They are sturdier, put up with barbecue sauce (and any other sloppy kind of food), and are a breeze to wash and clean. And... no ironing also.

jeangeniescraftworld said...

noooooooooooooooooooo! hate the thought of useing proper hankies for my nose, germs germs and more germs, but on the other side of the coin, hankies remind me of my childhood when i used to sit and embrodiered initials in the corner of the hankies then give them as christmas presents to aunties and uncles. also i love the beautiful designs that use to be on sale in the 50s, lace ones used to make you feel like grace kelly all special and dreamy silly old woman are'nt i

Lola Nova said...

Oh, how beautiful your hankies on the line! I am quite jealous as we are in the rainy season.
I grew up using cloth napkins made by my mother, and now we use only cloth napkins at home. We have one friend who, whenever he is over for dinner, says he feels bad messing up a cloth napkin "they are so nice!" I tell him not to worry, that is what they are for:)
We do use hankies for daily use as well, though if there is a major sickness we do tend to use paper tissue.
I have not bought paper kitchen rolls in a long time. Instead I have a stash of rags used for cleaning and wiping up. I have a special hamper for them and they are the only washing I need to "sanitize". They come from old clothes, towels, even the old cloth diapers from when my girl was a baby. Reduce, re-use, recycle!!!
Some people may not be able to make such a choice but, I find that I have not missed the paper stuff in all the years we have been using cloth instead. Though I will say it does make for a bit more washing. I can live with that.

Nana Go-Go said...

What a fantastic selection - and so beautifully laundered!I love them all and I also love your pretty crocheted doillies.

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

No I don't use hankies. That's really not good is it? Maybe I should find the ones lurking in the back of my drawer and wash them and then put them in my bag. I find them a bit too stiff so get put off using them. But I'm guessing with wear they will soften up nicely.

Your line of pretty hankies looks so lovely. What glorious weather you are now having. I hope it continues to shine for you.

magsmcc said...

The thing is Floss, and we don't buy kitchen roll anymore for the same reasons, although we're still at the tea-towel to mop up children stage, but the thing is, and I'll whisper this- do you wash your hankies at a very high temperature??

Sherri B. said...

What a nice treat seeing your hankies on the line. It makes me long for the days when I can use my line again. The weather has been so bad this year that I have only hung out once...I do have hankies and pick them up whenever I find ones as pretty as yours (few and far between). I have used them since I was a very little girl but I must confess that I forget to put them in my purse way too often. We use cloth napkins most of the time but also have paper on hand. I see many of you have stopped using paper towels but I still have them and probably always will but that still doesn't stop my rags from regular use too...I noticed that magsmcc commented on washing your hankies at a high temp. I do believe that the sunshine is a disinfectant.

Lace hearts said...

I have some vintage hankies I bought a long time again intending to make a handerkerchief quilt or a pair of curtains. I still haven't done so, but they are beautiful things.

carol at home said...

Sorry to hear that your father is poorly, best wishes for a speedy recovery. Your post about hankies brought back memories of hankies stuffed up the sleeve of my school jumpers and if I recall correctly hankerchiefs were the first things I learned to iron as a child. So satisfying to see that little pile grown all neatly pressed and tidy.

Sonja said...

What a lovely collection. I have a soft spot for hankies, too. Always keep one in my bag, so I feel like a proper lady. :)

Angela said...

Proper hankies - unless we have heavy colds.
And I do not enjoy ironing, but aways begin with the hankies, as that is how Mum first taught me to iron, with Dad's big white ones.

She also insisted the Pastor [first Dad now Husband] be equipped with a spare clean white one, to lend to unexpectedly weepy members of the congregation. [Rather ike Rhett and Scarlett in Gone With the wind]

blessings x

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

Oh Floss, your hankies are to die for! And like you, I love ironing them - quick, easy, satisfying work! I wish you still had some for sale in your blog shop! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. Have a lovely weekend! E x