Difference Between Handkerchief and Cravat

Today many of us use a piece of cloth name handkerchief which is for different types of purposes but the cravat is like the handkerchief but is entirely different from the handkerchief.

They both have their own significance and etiquettes to use and discover. The further content of the article will provide every difference between both of them in more detail.

Handkerchief vs Cravat

The main difference between a handkerchief and a cravat is that the handkerchief can be used for different purposes like covering the head, cleaning your face, nose, etc. On the other hand, the cravat is like a piece of cloth that is used by men inside the collar of a shirt. 

Handkerchief vs Cravat

Handkerchief is an old-fashioned cloth that was used to cover the neck and head, but now cravat has replaced its version and is used in functions, events, and ceremonies by the men to look cool and smart.

The handkerchief can be used normally and regularly but the cravat is only for special events and functions that are worn with the modern dress and coat.

Handkerchief do not emphasis anything as it just for regular use like clothing, dusting, wiping the face and nose nut on the other hand, cravat is only for occasion where people get together with beautiful ethics and dresses.

Comparison Table Between Handkerchief and Cravat

Parameters of ComparisonHandkerchiefCravat
MeaningHandkerchief is a basic term derived from cravat that is used to cover your head, nose, and cleaning purposes.Cravat is a wide fabric cloth that is wear by men around the neck on coat.
Origin of WordIn the old times, only the word kerchief is used which means to cover and chef the head.Cravat is a noun word which is derived from crabate whose meaning is a band or scarf.
TypesPocket handkerchief, pocket square, and regular handkerchief.Day Cravat, wedding cravat, and British cravat, are the types of cravat.
Purpose of UseRegular PurposeFashion Purpose
MaterialSilk, cotton, fabric, and woolFabric
SizeNormal to larger and thin to thick.Thin in size and single layered.

What is Handkerchief?

The handkerchief is an old-fashioned cloth that is made up of fabric to clean the dust, clean the nose, and put in the pocket. There are many names of handkerchief: Pocket square, bandana, kerchief, rag, snot rag, and reusable tissue.

The first and foremost befits of using a handkerchief is that it will protect you from spreading the disease from one person to another. Those who are highly conscious about their personal hygiene must use handkerchiefs.

The next is handkerchiefs are environment friendly then do not create any dust, noise, pollution, and can be decomposed and recycled easily. 

The handkerchief can be used for a variety of tasks, including wiping away sweat, spills, and cosmetics, as well as protecting your face from dust. 

When a bag or basket is not available, handkerchiefs are also utilised as an impromptu manner to carry small objects.

What is Cravat?

Croatian mercenaries are said to have brought the cravat to Western Europe in the 17th century. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the present Cravat Day has a cultural-commercial history that is similarly conflicted. 

The cravat is a new-fashioned cloth which is used to put around the neck and is especially only for events, offices, colleges, and organizations. It is a sign of showing your smartness and making you unique from others. 

The cravat is made up of fabric cloth and comes in different sizes according to the design of the coat and your antiquities. Because cravats are normally one size fits all, there are no particular neck size measures.

Many product descriptions will list cravat lengths and widths, however, this is mostly for people who know they need a specific minimum or maximum length for their particular tying or wearing method.

There are various types of cravats like causal, ascot, and wedding cravats. You can choose any of the material and type of cravat according to the gesture of the event.

In the olden days of time when the cravat was just invented people used to wear it like ties but now as the technology and people are advancing they are used to wear it as a pride and to look unique form other.

Main Differences Between Handkerchief and Cravat

  1. The handkerchief is for cleaning purposes and an old-fashioned piece of cloth but the cravat is to show superiority and is wrapped around the neck with the coat.
  2. The handkerchief is made up of different cloth materials like cotton, silk, fabric, wool, etc. On the other hand, the cravat is made up of fabric.
  3. The handkerchief can be put with any dress as it is for pocket purpose and do not show upfront but choosing the right cravat with the right color and coat is important for men.
  4. The other names of handkerchiefs are snot rag, tissue, hanky, kerchief, and nose-wiper. On the other hand, the cravat is also known as jerkin, knee breeches, waistcoat, necktie, scarf, etc. 
  5. King Richard II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399, is commonly credited with inventing the cloth handkerchief, as one fine day he was found to wipe his noise with a cloth fabric and from then handkerchief is invented n the other hand when people get educated and start inventing something different then cravat took the place in this world especially for formals, events, and occasions.


The areas of using the handkerchief and cravat are entirely different from others. the handkerchief is only for general purpose while cravat shows smartness and genuinely of the person and makes them different from other’s people. 

You can choose between an all-silk cravat and a polyester cravat when it comes to materials. Despite the fact that an all-silk cravat is more elegant, polyester cravats are more popular due to their durability.

Furthermore, all-silk cravats are prone to slipping, so make sure you have a cravat pin to keep it in place.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44371627
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-6LDJUm3b7EC&oi=fnd&pg=PA5&dq=pocket+handkerchief&ots=0Pk7NZDu_S&sig=DVeTHvZiOQRnes5V3o6QIu-T1XI
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