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WikiProject Fashion (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Why is handkerchief being redirected to nose?! by Paul Klenk (sorry for not signing earlier)

I dunno, but I guess handkerchief is probably more of a Wiktionary entry. Could you please sign your posts? Dolf 20:19, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)

Would be quite interesting to have the article discuss hankies usage and its social perceptions as well as hygienic issues. --Valmi 22:30, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Must it be Fabric??[edit]

Are there any handkerchieves made of materials other than Fabric?

Like Plastic, or some other strange things that cannot absorb liquid?

I'm doing an in-depth cultural investigation on handkerchief, really hope to know more about this issue.

I would consider a 'facial tissue' to be a paper hanky.


Re the picture... a hankerchief in the breast pocket is a very common component of wearing a suit, in case you haven't noticed. What's so special about this guy's use of it?

Re: picture[edit]

Nothing. I am removing that...because I don't really think this guy's well "known for wearing a handkerchief".


Handkerchiefs were invented by Richard II of England.

This seems a ridiculous assertion to me. Surely people were using pieces of cloth to wipe things long before Richard II? It's a little like claiming John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich (people have been putting meat and other foods between pieces of bread since ancient times). —Keenan Pepper 18:30, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Richard II didn´t invent the handkerchief. There isn´t any source for this. The first handkerchiefs were used in China after paper was invented. In England the handkerchiefs were launched in the time of Henry VIII of England, first with the name handkercher. Compare this with german-wiki-Taschentuch and the source G. Donder-Langer, H.M. Zwergel; Menschen, Nasen, Taschentücher, Selbstverlag Kassel 1998. skho (German Wiki) 08:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
another know-it-all! See article; if you have an earlier documented use lets have it! Johnbod 04:43, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
More likely that Richard II invented Household Rolls, or whatever the heck the cited "documentation" is supposed to be. 03:44, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
St. Cuthbert's Letter on the death of Bede, written in the eighth century in Northumbria, includes a line which is translated as:
At the ninth hour he said to me, I have a few treasures in my little box: pepper, handkerchiefs and incense. Run quickly and fetch the priests of our monastery to me, that I can distribute to them these little gifts (...)
I don't know the original term used here, but a footnote mentions that "Gregory's Dialogues (ii. 9) mentions nuns giving gifts of handkerchiefs to one of Benedict's monks" - it seems to be a fairly well attested concept, and so I don't think we can say even that Richard II introduced them into England, much less that he invented them, Tuchman's comment aside! I've removed the note in the article. Shimgray | talk | 19:23, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

"Pocket square"[edit]

I think this is probably an Americanism. I'm British and I've only ever heard such an item referred to as a "pocket handkerchief". It used to be considered smarter to wear one's pocket handkerchief in one's sleeve and not one's breast-pocket. 17:17, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I dont think this is an americanism. I live in Canada and I have only ever heard of it being called a pocket hankerchief until now. In my opinion who ever made this asumption is falsly sterotyping[1] north americans.

now thats a joke - this is maybe the most weird and ridiculous english word and we have nothing to say bout the words origin? Is it french? dutch? what does it really mean? I suspect its english "hand" and french "couvre-chief" (as usually terribly corrupted) -- 01:30, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

This encyclopedia can be edited by anybody, so if you know something about its origins and as long as it is referenced, feel free to be bold and add it. Bob talk 10:13, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
It's actually based on the noun "kerchief", which is a female head covering.(OED) Bob talk 10:19, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Kleenex and kerchiefs[edit]

Re: the Kleenex "story", it's adequately covered at Kleenex. "The story goes" is un-encyclopedic wording - this section should be redited to point to the Kleenex article.

I have removed the "photo requested" tag on this page since I added some.

BTW, "pocket square" is standard US usage in the fashion industry and kerchief is from French couvre-chef. - PKM 20:43, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Handkerchief History[edit]

We need more information on the history of the handkerchief. T@nn 08:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Environment friendly[edit]

From the article:

However they are a potentially more environment-conscious choice, as cloth handkerchiefs are reusable.

It is true that a paper handkerchief goes into the garbage. However, the water, energy (from burnt coal, gas, or nuclear power) and chemical detergent needed for cloth handkerchiefs should also be taken into account.

Regards, Robin — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:39, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I'd like to request that you add a new link to the "Handkerchief" page on Wikipedia[edit]


I am a business owner that sells handkerchief folders ~ my Web site ( My site includes a multitude of information about handkerchiefs with similar content as that of the Wikipedia page "handkerchief". I'd like to request that a link to my Web site is added to this page. Please take a look and let me know if this is possible.


Christine Powell and Paul Chur on behalf of Hanky Buddy Searchstratmarketing (talk) 19:19, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Hello, I've had a look, and I don't really think this link would be appropriate, as we cannot be used for advertising. The only exception would really be if the "trivia" section could be used to cite something in this article that is currently unreferenced, but I couldn't really see anything that would fit the bill at present. Thanks for asking rather than just adding it, though. Regards Bob talk 19:40, 19 July 2011 (UTC)