The Development and Creation of My Hanky

Photo of Frank Marino

Frank Marino - Creator of My Hanky the Softest, Fluffiest Hankie in the World.

They say that necessity is the Mother of Invention. Nothing can be more true with this statement, than in the creation and development of My Hanky.

As a child, growing up in the Sixties in Brooklyn NY, I can vividly remember my mom, giving my siblings and I a fresh, clean, ironed hanky every morning as she sent us off to school. (Yes, in those days they actually ironed hankies.) Always reminding us of the importance of our personal hygiene, and instructing us never, ever to share it with anyone.
Today, 50 years later, I find I do three things instinctively before I leave the house. First I pat my pocket to see if I have my wallet. Second I pat it again feeling for my keys, and third I pat it feeling for my hanky.

Growing up with an older brother who has a sinus condition and severe allergies, I can recall him complaining over the years about the harshness and non absorbing quality of the handkerchiefs he had tried. Many times we would engage in conversations where he would explain how every hanky he ever bought would further irritate his already sensitive nose. “You think they would come up with a Softer Hanky!” he would exclaim.

Not having any allergies or sinus condition, and only occasionally using a hanky to wipe my brow or blow my nose, I never gave it much thought untill 2011 when I developed a severe cold and allergy that was nothing short of horrible. While at home I would go through what seemed to be a box of tissues every day. Leaving my house, I would take two hankies with me. After a few days my nose was so red and irritated from using a common handkerchief that I could not bear to use it. I would have to carry a stack of tissues with me, just to get through the day.

Being very uncomfortable with this extra baggage, and with a sinus condition that would not ease, I began my quest to find a softer hanky. Although I had heard my brother complain over the years of not being able to buy a soft hanky, I thought perhaps he was just not trying hard enough. I got up the next day and decided that I would spend the day just shopping for a soft hanky. I visited Macy’s, J C. Penney, Target, and Kmart as well as several smaller men’s shops. I purchased several types of hankies from every store and went home to examine them. To my amazement they were all the same. A paper thin, woven cotton, made in China, and all very harsh. Is it really possible that nobody makes a soft absorbent hanky? I asked myself.

The next day I started my internet search and found myself on several different blogs. To my amazement there were literally thousands of people out there all asking the same question, “Does anybody out there know where to buy a soft absorbent hanky?” I searched for answers and purchased just about every hanky that people recommended. The common answer was something like… “I have also been searching for years for a soft hanky and I still have not found one yet. However the best ones I could find were www…” I purchased over 100 hankies spending from as little as a few dollars each to as high as $39 for a single hanky from Brooks Brothers. After I tested the hankies and found them to all be relatively the same, I knew that I had to develop my own.

Knowing nothing about cotton, I enlisted the aid of a Cotton Consultant with a PHD in Chemistry. I quickly learned that the reason all hankies are harsh is because they are manufactured using the woven method, which is very inexpensive and virtually impossible to be made soft and fluffy. Holding a cotton ball in my hand I explained that I wanted my hanky to be as soft as a cotton ball. He suggested that I use a knitted cotton fabric which was an entirely different process. It was several times the cost of woven cotton and most importantly he did not know of any material that was as soft as a cotton ball.
After spending Tens of Thousands of Dollars on test runs from various mills, we finally developed a special blend of Pima Cotton. Pima Cotton is 100% American Grown Cotton, often referred to as the cashmere of cotton. Its fibers are 35% longer than standard cotton fibers. This increases its softness and luster. Fewer fiber ends are exposed, minimizing the effects of abrasion resulting in less piling. The cotton is 45% stronger than regular cotton, making it extraordinary resilient and durable. It retains color better than regular cottons and will retain its brilliance over many years. This special type of cotton represents less than 5% of all the cotton grown in the US and can only be found on luxury high end apparel and never before in handkerchief.

Holding the Pima Cotton Hanky in one hand and a cotton ball in the other, I explained that it was soft and certainly the softest out of all the experiments that we had tried. However it still was not up to my expectations and as soft as cotton ball. We continued to push on and after exhaustive testing we finally developed a proprietary method to further soften the Pima Cotton called Soft Cloud™. It is through this process that My Hanky gets its softness and fluffiness that cannot be found in any other Hanky in the world.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I…

Frank Marino
President & Creator of My Hanky