Cloth handkerchiefs are coming back into fashion

Cloth handkerchiefs are gaining more and more attention. They are more durable, skin-friendly and more cost-effective than the disposable version

Cover cloth handkerchiefs
Source & Copyright by Pellens & Loick

Author: House of Eden

In addition to their function, cloth handkerchiefs had a strong significance in Romantic times from the Middle Ages to modern times. Ladies expressed their devotion, and gentlemen could reciprocate or reject it. However, over the years these have lost their importance. In the 20th century, disposable handkerchiefs were invented and replaced cloth handkerchiefs.

Due to society's interest in sustainability and... vintage- and retro fashion, cloth handkerchiefs are making a comeback. They are functional, environmentally friendly and fashionable. Whether for elegant occasions with a tuxedo, for colds in winter or for small children; Everyone can use cloth handkerchiefs. Their small size means they fit in any bag and can be taken anywhere.

The most important facts at a glance:

  • Compared to disposable handkerchiefs, cloth handkerchiefs have several advantages: lower environmental impact, longer lifespan, higher absorbency and cost effectiveness.
  • The more sustainable handkerchiefs are extremely hygienic and can be easily washed.
  • Cloth handkerchiefs can either be sewn yourself or purchased. We introduce 5 providers.

Why cloth handkerchiefs instead of disposable handkerchiefs?

Cloth handkerchiefs are the more environmentally friendly, nicer and cheaper alternative to disposable handkerchiefs. Here is a comparison of some features:

Disposable tissueshandkerchiefs
The BrandThe production of disposable handkerchiefs requires a lot of resources, energy and water and is therefore harmful to the environment.Cloth handkerchiefs use fewer resources and, due to their significantly longer life expectancy, the environmental impact is much lower in the long term.
materialDisposable handkerchiefs are often made from virgin fiber paper. Some are also made from recycled paper, which is the more environmentally friendly material. The enormous amounts of plastic that wrap the disposable tissues as packaging are also very harmful to the environment.Cloth handkerchiefs are made of cotton or linen. Even if the extraction of these raw materials generally has a poor environmental impact, they are still the more sustainable alternative. The reason for this is a significantly higher life expectancy. If the handkerchiefs are made from organic cotton, the environmental impact is even lower.
qualityDisposable handkerchiefs are disappointing due to their poor quality, as they are often thin, not very absorbent and rough.On the one hand, cloth handkerchiefs are much more absorbent and can therefore absorb more liquid and, on the other hand, they are more tear-resistant and do not break.
longevityAs the name suggests, disposable tissues are products that are thrown away after one use.Cloth handkerchiefs can be washed and reused after use. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
Skin friendlinessThe material of disposable tissues is often rough, dry and contains synthetic fibers. This makes it not good for the skin.Cloth handkerchiefs are softer and gentler and put less strain on the skin. People who have sensitive skin in particular should use a cloth handkerchief.
CostsA pack of disposable tissues can be purchased for a small sum, but these expenses add up.Cloth handkerchiefs are purchased once and can then be used for years. Extrapolated, these are the cheaper option.

How hygienic are cloth handkerchiefs?

Cloth handkerchiefs are extremely hygienic with the right care. They can easily be washed with towels or bed linen. It is best to wash them at 60°C so that all germs and bacteria are killed. After washing, you have to straighten them briefly and then let them dry, ideally on a line.

Which fabric is best?

When buying a fabric handkerchief or choosing a fabric, there are a few aspects to consider: the material must be able to be washed at high temperatures and detergents well tolerated. Care should also be taken to ensure that the fabrics can be washed frequently without becoming deformed or discolored. In addition, only pure fabrics and not mixed fabrics should be chosen.

In the 19th century, linen was a common fabric for handkerchiefs, but today it is cotton. The best material However, organic cotton is used for cloth handkerchiefs because it is skin-friendly, environmentally friendly, easy to care for and very absorbent.

DIY cloth handkerchiefs

If you have leftover fabric and want to try something new, you can also sew yourself a fabric handkerchief. The project is not difficult and can be mastered just as easily by hobbyists without experience as by those with previous knowledge.

Sew your own fabric handkerchiefs


  • Cotton or linen fabric (fabric from old shirts or T-shirts works very well here)
  • Yarn
  • pins
  • Sewing machine or sewing needle
  • scissors

Step-by-step instructions for breastfeeding with the emeibaby carrier:

  1. Cut the fabric into isosceles squares. The edge length should be 2 cm longer on each side than the desired tissue size.
  2. Fold each side over twice and secure with pins. This makes the raw edge disappear and prevents the fabric from unraveling.
  3. Now all you have to do is sew the pinned edges along the inner edge and then your homemade fabric handkerchief is ready.

Buy cloth handkerchiefs - top 5 brands

If DIY handkerchiefs aren't for you or you haven't succeeded, here is a selection of brands that offer sustainable fabric handkerchiefs:

  1. Pellens & Loick
  2. Gary Mash
  3. StoffOS
  4. Perofil
  5. OrganicMom

1. Pellens & Loick

The textile company Pellens & Loick, founded in 1870, offers fabric handkerchiefs for men and women. The scarves have an elegant and classic design and can also be embroidered upon request. The fabric is 100 percent cotton.

  • Company location: Aalen, Germany
  • Price: € € €
  • Size: from 31 x 31 cm to 45 x 45 cm
  • Available there: Im Pellens & Loick online shop and at selected retailers

Pellens & Loick cloth handkerchiefs

Source & Copyright by Pellen & Loick

2. Gary Mash

The fashion and lifestyle brand Gary Mash offers 100 percent vegan, sustainable and fairly produced products. The cloth handkerchiefs are made of organic cotton and come in a pack of two including a bag.

  • Company location: Pichlhofen, Austria
  • Price: € €
  • Size: No information
  • Available there: Im Gary Mash online shop and at selected retailers

Gary Mash tissues

Source & Copyright by Gary Mash

3. StoffOS

The fabric handkerchiefs from StoffOS are characterized by their sustainability. They are made from 100 percent organic cotton and are packaged plastic-free. The design is simple, making them an option for everyone.

  • Company location: Bad Iburg, Germany
  • Price:
  • Size: 22,5x22,5 inch
  • Available there: Im StoffOS online shop

Cloth handkerchiefs fabric OS

Source & Copyright by Stoff OS

4. Perofil

The Italian company Perofil offers fabric handkerchiefs in a marine design. These are made from 100 percent cotton. The handkerchiefs are delivered in sustainable packaging.

  • Company location: Mantua, Italy
  • Price: € € €
  • Size: 45x45 inch
  • Available there: Im Perofil online shop

Perofil fabric handkerchief

Source & Copyright by Perofil

5. OrganicMom

OrganicMom offers handkerchiefs handmade in Vienna. These are made from 100 percent organic cotton and have modern designs. In addition to four handkerchiefs, a set also includes a cloth bag to store and transport them.

  • Company location: Darmstadt, Germany
  • Price: € €
  • Size: 20x20 inch
  • Available there: Im OrganicMom online shop and at selected retailers

OrganicMom cloth handkerchiefs

Source & Copyright by OrganicMom

The renaissance of cloth handkerchiefs

In modern times, cloth handkerchiefs are making a remarkable comeback, driven by the growing interest in sustainability and vintage fashion. The advantages over disposable products, particularly in terms of environmental friendliness, cost savings and skin-friendliness, are remarkable. Cloth handkerchiefs are also particularly suitable for environmentally conscious individuals with style thanks to their long lifespan, pleasant material, easy care and versatility. They can also be sewn quickly and easily as a DIY project or can be purchased from various brands.

Overall, the revival of cloth handkerchiefs not only illustrates a trend towards more sustainable consumption habits, but also an awareness of the value of longevity and quality in our modern society.


Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

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