New for 2016 is my blog. Here you can read the history of the handkerchiefs and stories about the handkerchiefs.
You can not find many handkerchief designers in Sweden.In 1950-1960 in USA it was very common that the hankies were designed and the designer often had his or her signature in one corner. Such handkerchiefs have a great value for collectors nowadays. Viola Gråsten created a lot of designs for curtains, table cloths and so on and I have even found a handkerchief with her name on it. It is from the 50ies and is so decorative with the leaf and the butterfly.
At a visit to an antique shop in Gothenburg I got an offer to buy two special handkerchiefs. They had belonged to an old lady who had been imployed at the Royal Castle in Stockholm.When she retired, she got some textiles as a keepsake.
Of course I bought them! When I came home I wrote a letter to The Swedish Court with a wonder if it was customary with textile keepsakes and got a very kind answer that it was rather usual.
How do you cook a Fondue Bourguignonne? Or mix a Side Car? The handcerchiefs can give you the answers.
Many Swiss handkerchiefs made of a very fine quality and with handrolled hems have motifs and texts with recipes for food and drinks. Collectible!!!
On the handkerchiefs there can be menus, lists of calories, quality guides for wine, … You can even get advice about curing a hangover. Are they really meant for the nose or are they just collectibles? They really are decorative!!
Some handkerchiefs are probably not real hankies. They are just printed for a certain event with special menus or advertising a restaurant. If they have the right size and the right cloth they are sorted as handkerchiefs.
Many handkerchiefs were sold in lots of six (half a dozen). After embroidering and perhaps a hem of blanket-stitching the handkerchiefs were gently folded, attached to each other with thread or pins, maybe got a bottom cardboard and finally a ribbon with a bow. To show the good quality there was a metal seal. Many handkerchiefs had rich white embroideries and there often were flower garlands in the corners .
Many packages are still intact.
A handkerchief in the pocket, in the school bag or perhaps in the jacket sleeve was a must for the children, when I was a child. It could be used for everything, except to blow the nose in. Wipe off the ink pen, dry the hands, tie over a wound , yes, only imagination sets limits. Mom was not so glad, when the dirty handkerchief came to her laundry. Cooking on the stove was a common way to clean a badly stained handkerchief.
Children´s handkerchiefs often had a nice and colourful print with kids, animals, fairy tales, flowers and pictures from reality, such as school police and cars. Almost all the children's handkerchiefs were decorated in some way, but today, the prints are bleached by the numerous washes and it's hard to find unused ones. Many handkerchiefs were sewn from thin cotton and had simple machine hems, that ragged up in the corners of diligently use. It was no status to draw motives for children´designer's names. One of them is Arnold Tilgmann.