Wednesday, October 22, 2008

History of the handkerchief

A handkerchief is a small, square, thin cloth used for wiping.

The pocket handkerchief is in fact only 400 years old. It was the idea of a Venetian lady to cut a square out of pure flax and then decorate it with lace. She showed it to the people in a public garden, where the delicate handkerchief excited the general curiosity of the onlookers.

From Italy, the handkerchief soon crossed the Alps and spread through France where it was found to be a great success with the Lords and Ladies in the court of Henry II. The hankerchief of this period was made with the most expensive fabrics, adorned with embroidery and were objects of great luxury.

In 1850, Germany adopted the handkerchief ,but it was only used by royalty and the aristocrats.

Until 18th century, the handkerchief came in many forms. One day at Versailles, Marie-Antoinette made the observation that the square form would be more convenient and pleasing. Louis XVI published a decree ordering the length of handkerchiefs produced in the kingdom would be equal to their width. Now 150 years later the handkerchiefs are being replaced by tissue ones.

Bangalore: Bangalore Military School


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