I still come across true vintage handkerchiefs once in a while and always collect them. This one is not fine linen or even high quality cotton and started it’s life as a commercially-made piece that probably had no decoration excepting the machine-done edging, BUT the delicate applique needlework down in the left-lower corner is the real story. Some woman who couldn’t afford more expensive linens made a dainty item with her own hands. It is almost unbelievable with the tiny, tiny stitches and the steps taken to prepare the pieces that were sewn on to make the flower.
Girls used to be taught this kind of hand work in almost every home before WWII time, and many still afterwards. If not lace-making, tatting or applique’ by the late mid-century, girls at least learned some embroidery, crochet or knitting. My own grandmothers still knew how to do it.
Even though paper tissues are more convenient now, a fabric handkerchief is very elegant and just the thing when attending a wedding or other private affair. The decoration on most of them is gorgeous, whether hand-done or by machine. Even the printed patterns are lovely or at least colorful and amusing. If you’re into home sewing, I’ve seen these hankies pieced together and turned into pretty pillow tops, table linens and even blouses, skirts or dresses.
So, another little story unfolds for me to share with you. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY