Snot Rags in the Stocking
December 11, 2006 12:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find some nice handkerchiefs for my lady. She uses them instead of tissues, and is often running out of them, so I'd like to shore up her supply.

I guess any old square of cloth will do (indeed, she will use shirts, socks, pillowcases, and so on, once her hankies run out), but it's definitely possible to find handkerchiefs that are better at what they do: soaking up snot while not irritating the nose skin.

I'm looking for hankies that have fine fabric and nice patterns! I searched the internet, but it's really hard to judge the fabric based on a 100x100 jpg. What's your experience?
posted by breath to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
While the Japanese mainly use handkerchiefs for drying their hands (many public restrooms don't have paper towels or hand dryers) or sopping up sweat in hot summer months, they have tons of awesome designs on high-quality fabric and can certainly be used as snot rags.

Japanese only, but this is an example of an online shop specializing in women's hankies. (Click on the collections to the left)

eBay search for japan +handkerchiefs. (The really nice, high-quality ones should go for at least $10. Go for brand names like Yves St Laurent, Anna Sui, Burberry, Paul Smith, Agnes b. etc.)

Don't know where you are, but here's a pretty sweet UK shop selling nice hankies. (Tho they are a bit big.)

Hope this helps as a starting point.
posted by QueSeraSera at 12:54 AM on December 11, 2006

Brooks Brothers has good ones.
posted by Brian James at 1:19 AM on December 11, 2006

I switched from "hankies" to bandanas years ago and have never looked back. Softer, tougher, more utilitarian, and larger, they also come in a variety of colors and patterns.

New ones are a little rough, but with some good soaking for a couple of days (you will need to do this to get rid of excess dyes) and a few runs trough the wash have them soft and smooth.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:35 AM on December 11, 2006

I buy them vintage, and in person. Lots of people ebay them, but I'd rather touch them first. It's not uncommon to find them at flea markets or those indoor antique mall places for a dollar each.

Men's handkerchiefs are much more common - they're usually much bigger than lady handkerchiefs. If you or anyone you know has a serger, you could buy some nice material and finish the edges.
posted by ersatzkat at 3:55 AM on December 11, 2006

If you're looking for men's handkerchiefs, you can probably find them at any sort of menswear store, I'd think. My father uses them and never seems to have any problem finding replacements.
posted by Lucinda at 5:10 AM on December 11, 2006

Seconding vintage hankies. The last store I was in selling "pre-loved" goods had a fantastic selection of hankerchiefs for ladies, many of them beautifully embroidered. If you're lucky, perhaps you might find one embroidered with your lady-love's inititals.
posted by phoenixc at 6:34 AM on December 11, 2006

100% cotton is a good thing to be looking for; lots of (mens', at least) handkerchiefs are a cotton/poly blend that is not so nice on the nose.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:15 AM on December 11, 2006

I get mine from the Vermont Country Store, as I've never had luck finding women's hankies in department stores. (It's worth following that link if only for "You Might Also Like... Snoods.")
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:54 AM on December 11, 2006

Silk handkerchiefs!! You can get plain ones at Dharma Trading Co. (and then try silkpainting them, if that appeals).
posted by oldtimey at 2:48 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

I saw some in the women's department at Nordstrom's last week. I believe it was a box of 3 or 5 for $10 and I'm pretty sure they were cotton. I was quite surprised to see them and almost asked the salesperson if they were considered a novelty gift.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:33 PM on December 11, 2006

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