Hankerchief Scarf

hankie scarf

I just never know when an idea is going to come to me.   There I was in the bathroom, looking at the scarf a friend had given me, when I thought of the handkerchiefs.

A few months ago Gretchen contacted me and asked if I would be interested in a box of handkerchiefs that had belonged to her mother. I said yes.  I had seen ladies handkerchiefs often in antique shops and even had a few, but I never could figure out how to incorporate them into my work.    (Last week, for the first time, I used one in my Poodle Stripes Pillow)    Women would embroider flowers or initials on them or crochet the edges.  By the condition of the ones I’ve seen, they must have been more decorative than practical.  And who would want to use them, they are so delicate and beautiful.

So, it came to me, as I was looking at my scarf made from recycled Saris that I could do the same with the handkerchiefs.  Although not silk, the handkerchiefs are thin and silky, often transparent. Sewn together they would hang and flow similar to silk.

I was excited this morning to see how it would work.  So I went through my box of hankies, not the ones Gretchen sent me, but some others I had that were   slightly  stained, and began to experiment.  I sewed seven together  which seemed like a good length then sewed 6 more together.  I placed the six on top of the seven and stitched them together down the middle.   This is the way the Sari scarf was made, it gives the scarf a little more body and layering.

I wore the scarf on our walk with the dogs this afternoon.  I’m still getting used to the way it looks,  I think it’s going to work.

D is for Drummond
D is for Drummond

One of the handkerchiefs that Gretchen gave me with an embroidered “D” on it.

The stack of Hankerchiefs from Gretchen
The stack of hankerchiefs from Gretchen

The handkerchiefs on the left are white with embroidery or crocheted edges, the ones on the right have printed designs on them.  I think it will work to mix the two types of handkerchiefs together, but I’m sure I’ll try a bit of everything.



20 thoughts on “Hankerchief Scarf

  1. What a good idea! I have several handkerchiefs that belonged to my aunt, and some of them are too worn to use. Not sure the colors/pattern go together, but I’ll have to think about this . . .

  2. Lovely Maria, I would enjoy seeing it laid out to appreciate the elements of your new art form. Your creativity is always flowing and evolving in unique and wonderful ways.

  3. SIGN ME UP! I will purchase the most colorful one you make! I love this recycling idea! My Nanny & Pop-Pop were hanky folks this reminds me of them! LOVE THIS Maria!

  4. Well, what a genius idea! I’ve been collecting hankies for years, thinking I would use them in a quilt – but I like YOUR idea much better. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Maria,
    If you’re going to delve into this as one of your creative outlets, let’s talk, because I’d like one, maybe about 70″ long.

    Love this.

  6. Looking at the pile of hankies I’m wondering if some of them have tatted edges. I have several that my grandmother gave to me that have them. I kick myself now that I did not learn how to do that.

  7. What a beautiful scarf and such a good idea! I have a stack of similar
    hankies from my mother and didn’t know what to do with them. Now I do.
    Thank you Maria.

  8. Maria, this is beautiful and what a great idea. Your creativity is an inspiration to me, to look at things in a new way.

  9. Thank you for telling us your method. I think I will look for some hankies at flea markets and try my hand at these! Awhile ago you explained how you put your quilts together, and I’m in the process of doing that with my “Maria Quilt”! ~Robin

  10. The picture of the stack hankies took my breath away! I have always loved old hankies, linens, crocheted items. I actually have lots and lots of crocheted pieces I inherited and am planning to do something with those; however, I love the scarf you made, and would love to buy one made with hankies.

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