A widely available source of fine fabrics with a range of embroidered edgings, insertions and fine print designs can be found in vintage handkerchiefs. While some handkerchiefs are collectibles in their own right and should be preserved as an art form, others can be found inexpensively in thrift shops. The range of fabrics, from rayon organzas to silks, linens and fine cotton lawns, makes them ideal for dolls house miniatures and small scale doll clothing where fine details and softly draping fabric in small amounts can be readily used. One handkerchief will make an elaborate quilt and pillow set for a dollhouse baby basket. Plain or woven designs with edgings work well for dollhouse table clothes. Fine lawn or small embroidered patterns can be used to make a blouse for a doll using the instructions for sewing a simple shirt. The printed georgette and organza designs from the 1930-s to 1950s work well for dollhouse aprons, kitchen curtains and other soft furnishings.
Things to Look For When Choosing Handkerchiefs to Recycle For Miniatures
Cost and Availability
Handkerchiefs are available in most local thrift shops for $3 and up, depending on their age, fabric and the quality of their edgings or embroidery. Many are still in their original packaging as they were a popular gift, often stored away 'for good'. Designs range from simple florals to elaborate ethnic patterns. Keep an eye out for any with children's prints suitable for bedding or curtains for a child's room in a dolls' house.