11 May 2021
Carrying a small, square, multipurpose cloth on you at all times is not a groundbreaking innovation. Handkerchiefs have been used as early as the first century BC where people carried handkerchiefs to wipe their noses and foreheads. At a funeral in 2016, former US President Barack Obama was seen handing over a handkerchief. In the famous movie, the Intern, Robert De Niro's character advises young men that carrying a handkerchief is a great way to meet women.
I’ve carried one in my pocket for as long as I remember - it was one of the first things I put together when planning my uniform for school the next morning. Even throughout my higher education, studying in hot and humid places like Manipal and Mumbai, a handkerchief was a must!
However, with big corporations aggressively pushing the use of disposable tissue papers, handkerchiefs started getting eradicated from our daily lives. It’s something I’ve failed to understand though. They’re extremely uncomfortable and tend to result in chapped noses when used frequently. When there’s moisture around, they tend to dissolve and disintegrate. Unfortunately, they’re not even disposed of the way they should be - you’ll often see them sitting around on people’s desks or in their houses.
Handkerchiefs on the other hand are much more durable and versatile. I have used them to dab at my nose and eyes. I have used them to dry my hands in bathrooms when I didn’t have access to paper towels. I have used them to clean my spectacles in the past, to clean my camera lens and even as a bandana to cover my head after a hair transplant surgery. There have been times when we’ve used printed handkerchiefs as napkins for fancier table settings. The most important aspect where a handkerchief scores over a tissue is that of sustainability.
Tissues, whether made from virgin or recycled paper pulp, are still made from trees which can take years to grow. The paper plants which convert them use large amounts of water and their packaging uses a lot of plastic. Handkerchiefs are the way to go as they take a considerably less toll on the environment and can be washed and reused multiple times.
Here we list down 6 reasons to always carry a handkerchief!
1: Clean your phone
When you’re on an important call or have accidentally spilled some food on your new iPhone or OnePlus phone while eating at this 4.5-star rated Zomato restaurant, and you don’t have any napkins around, use your soft, smooth handkerchiefs to safely clean your phone screen and keep it shiny.
2: Clean your glasses
The amount of times you end up putting on and removing your glasses, you’re bound to get some dirt on it. Staying in hot and humid cities in India, there are a lot of times you might find yourself with fogged up glasses when stepping out of an air conditioned room. With handkerchiefs, you can safely clean your glasses without the risk of scratching them.
3: Wipe sweat
Ever find yourself rushing to a meeting and finding yourself drenched? Or taking public transportation in the hot summer months are finding yourself sweating profusely? The easiest solution is to take out your clean handkerchiefs to wipe sweat from your face and hands to unmoist yourself and keep yourself feeling dry!
4: Wipe your tears
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, My Name is Khan - what is common between all these movies (apart from Shah Rukh Khan, of course!)? Yes, they all end up leaving you in tears at multiple moments throughout the movie. For these sad moments, use a handkerchief to dry those tears before they reach your lips. 😉
5: Brighten your attire
Stand out at the next wedding or sangeet function by adding a handkerchief to your attire in the form of a pocket square! Maintain the other benefits of handkerchiefs and add a splash of flair to your evening attire by using printed handkerchiefs from the Rumaal collection
6: Dry your hands
This is probably the most important reason to carry a handkerchief. How many times do you find yourself using a bathroom which does not have any towels or a dryer - especially when you’re out at a mall or a casual dinner at your friends place? If you have a handkerchief in your pocket, you wouldn’t need to wipe your hands over your back pockets or the insides of your front pockets!
Congratulations on completing Handkerchief 101!
Rumaal has some of the best printed cotton and hemp handkerchiefs you will find in the country today. Shop online and use the code RUMAAL10 to get 10% off on your first order on the website!