Handkerchiefs & Roses; The Meaning of Colors


This is the first part in a series of posts about beautiful, vintage rose embroidered hankies and printed rose handkerchiefs. We’ll be taking a look at the color of each rose and its symbolism. For example, the ravishing red rose handkerchief, perky pink rose handkerchiefs and luscious lavender rose hankies. Beautifully printed or embroidered roses on handkerchiefs can mean a myriad of different sentiments. Each of the handkerchiefs highlighted in this post, and subsequent posts, are available in my Etsy shop, AllVintateHankies.etsy.com.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet –William Shakespeare

Let’s begin with this outstanding example of the pink rose bouquet, printed on a large, scalloped handkerchief.

It was one of Burmel’s selections for Handkerchief of the Month in Vogue back in the 1950s.

The pink rose is the oldest of all the roses. Pink roses can be found in centuries-old artwork by the masters. This color rose is also associated with the ‘old garden’ variety rose. When you’re driving past an old Victorian home in the spring or summer, take a look at the grounds. Chances are you’ll see gorgeous pink rose bushes that were lovingly planted in the mid 1800s to early 1900s. That is, if they haven’t been plucked out to make way for ‘new’ landscaping.



If you’re looking for a rose-printed or embroidered handkerchief for yourself or to give as a gift, it’s the perfect choice if you want to convey sentiments of appreciation and gratitude. Pink roses also are meant to show admiration, joyfulness, love, sweetness, grace and elegance.


The light pink rose signifies beauty and grace.



Delicate and soft, the pink rose hankie is an outstanding choice as a lovely gift to say, ‘I appreciate you’, ‘I admire you,’ ‘I’m grateful to you,’ or simply to say, ‘Thank you.’

Take a stroll through all of the marvelous examples of pink printed rose hankies and pink embroidered rose handkerchiefs at my shop on Etsy, AllVintageHankies.etsy.com.


Next post we’ll take a look at the meaning of the lavender rose print and embroidered hanky.






Wedding Handkerchiefs

We all know this age~old saying, ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…’ and the rest of the rhyme is…’and a silver sixpence in her shoe!’

This little ditty is thought to have originated in the late 1800’s Victorian England.

And, a bride’s ensemble would certainly be incomplete without the addition of a lovely antique or vintage handkerchief, like the ones below:


Breathtaking and exquisite in their beauty, just like the bride!

The antique or vintage handkerchief can fill the need of ‘something old’ or ‘something blue’ as there are many handkerchiefs with blue tatting around the edges or blue embroidery work like the ones below:




Giving the bride a gift of a handkerchief is something she’ll cherish. It may also be passed down to her daughter on her wedding day. What a thoughtful gift!  You will find hundreds of handkerchiefs at my shop AllVintageHankies.etsy.com 

An antique or vintage handkerchief is a gift that is affordable, will stay beautiful for years to come and remind the bride, not only of one of the happiest days of her life, but also of you!

Hope to see you soon at AllVintageHankies.etsy.com

Have an elegant day!  xo





Exquisite Antique Handkerchiefs

I have a passion for antique handkerchiefs. I think they are exquisite. Period. I can’t think of another word to describe them.

For example, the three photos below show a linen handkerchief with drawn work and embroidery work. The number of hours that had to go into making this piece, by hand, is unfathomable in today’s world. Take a look at the intricacy of the stitches.

Antique Handkerchief c.1800s from AllVintageHankies.etsy.com

Antique Handkerchief c.1800s from AllVintageHankies.etsy.com

Antique Handkerchief c.1800s from AllVintageHankies.etsy.com

Antique Handkerchief c.1800s from AllVintageHankies.etsy.com

Antique Handkerchief c.1800s from AllVintageHankies.etsy.com

Antique Handkerchief c.1800s from AllVintageHankies.etsy.com


I just came up with another word to describe exquisite antique handkerchiefs.

Imagine the woman who created this magnificent piece of art. I envision her during the Victorian or Edwardian era, sitting in a velvet chair near a window for good lighting. Her hair is fashioned into the Victorian curled upsweep. She’s wearing a silk moire gown. Before her is her standing embroidery hoop with this swatch of linen fabric sinched between the wooden hoops. With needle in hand, she pierces the fabric and begins to weave her magic. The result is the fabulous vision above.

I hope I can find some fellow handkerchief enthusiasts who share my passion.

If you love antique and vintage handkerchiefs, take a stroll through my independent shop in Etsy, AllVintageHankies.etsy.com, for a look at some marvelous examples of handkerchiefs from the 1800s through the 1960s and 70s.