This 36" (91 cm) square handkerchief is inspired by an extant handkerchief at the Museon Arlaten dated c. 1785 but similar ones are seen much earlier. Printed handkerchiefs tend to be worn by both men and women of the working class. Starting about 1800 these began to be called "neckerchief" although the term "handkerchief" persisted to the end of the 19th century. In the 18th century, when called "kerchief" it was preceded by the separate word "hand" making it "hand kerchief" despite the fact they were intended as both a pocket handkerchief and to be worn around the neck. These hand printed cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1776 Pennsylvania Gazette an ad included "Run away . . . an indented servant girl . . . a Scotch woman . . . had on, and took with he . . . two handkerchiefs, one blue and white, the other red and white" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.
This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 24 August, 2019.