Old-fashioned and unhygienic, or one of life’s essential comforts?
With the threat of swine flu, we are all being encouraged to ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ using a paper tissue. But what is to become of the cotton handkerchief, so beloved of romantic heroines, bald-headed sunbathers, and those needing to carry out an impromptu surrender? The writer and broadcaster Annalisa Barbieri is part of the dying breed that won’t leave the house without an ironed and folded kerchief in their pocket. She tells Jenni about the delights of fabric over paper, and the Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A Museum Edwina Ehrman gives an insight into the handkerchief’s chequered history.