What is the purpose of a handkerchief?

What is the purpose of a handkerchief featured

Purpose of a Handkerchief: A Brief Overview

A handkerchief, also known as a hankie, is a square or rectangle piece of cloth used for various purposes. While it was primarily used for health and hygiene purposes in the past, it has now evolved into a fashion accessory.

Hygienic Purposes

The handkerchief was initially used to maintain hygiene and is still used for this purpose today. People were used to have a handkerchief in their pocket to wipe away sweat, clean their hands, or blow their nose. This practice was common before the invention of tissues or napkins.

The term “handkerchief” is derived from the words “hand” and “kerchief,” which mean “hands” and “covering for the head” in Middle English. It was later adapted to refer to a small cloth used to cover the head, and then to refer to any small cloth used for various purposes, including hygiene.

Fashion Accessory

Handkerchiefs have become a fashion statement in today’s world, with designs ranging from plain white to colorful prints. They are also available in different materials like cotton, silk, and linen. Men and women alike use handkerchiefs to add an extra style quotient to their outfits.

A pocket square, a type of handkerchief folded and placed in the pocket of a suit jacket, is a popular fashion accessory among men. It adds a touch of elegance to a formal outfit and can also be used to create a contrast with the color of the suit.

Alternative Uses

Aside from hygiene and fashion purposes, handkerchiefs can also be used for different reasons. In Japan, they use it to reserve seats or mark a place while going to the restroom. It can also be used as a makeshift bandage or to clean smudged eyeglasses.

Cultural Significance

Handkerchiefs hold cultural significance in different countries. In India, a specific type of handkerchief is used to tie on top of a coconut during the worship of the god Ganesha. In some African countries, a handkerchief with specific colors and patterns can represent cultural or political affiliations.

In conclusion, the purpose of a handkerchief has evolved with time, and today it has various uses. It was initially used for hygiene purposes but is now also a fashion accessory. Handkerchiefs can also be used for other purposes and hold cultural significance in different countries.

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