Tissue vs Handkerchief: Difference and Comparison

Tissue papers are used a lot for a hygienic reason and the same goes for the handkerchief.

Tissue papers and handkerchiefs might appear to be tiny and petite things but both of them give a remarkable contribution to add comfort and hygiene to society and protect people from many types of contagious diseases.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tissues are disposable, thin sheets of paper used for personal hygiene or cleaning purposes, while handkerchiefs are reusable, washable fabric squares.
  2. Tissues are more convenient and hygienic for single-use situations, such as colds or allergies, while handkerchiefs are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run.
  3. Handkerchiefs can also serve as fashion accessories or personal mementos, adding an aesthetic or sentimental element beyond their functional use.

Tissue vs Handkerchief

Tissues are more convenient for quick cleanups or on-the-go use, while handkerchiefs are more sustainable and eco-friendly since they can be used multiple times before washing. Tissues are a disposable and lightweight option, while handkerchiefs are a reusable and washable option.

Tissue vs Handkerchief

A tissue is a piece of paper that is very thin and delicate and can be used for wrapping things and other stuff that involves wiping and cleaning.

Tissue paper comes in the form of napkins and they can be made from papers that have been recycled and this fact makes them environmentally friendly.

The term handkerchief refers to a square-shaped cloth that is manufactured using several types of fabrics but mostly cotton.

A handkerchief is another form of kerchief that is widely used by people for different purposes and some of these are wiping wet and dirty hands as well as one’s running nose.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonTissueHandkerchief
OriginThe very first tissue paper was made by Joseph Gayetty in 1890 then modified in 1935. A handkerchief was developed and used for the first time in the 14th century in some European countries.
Made of The material used to produce tissue papers is paper pulp and paper that is recycled. Many types of fabrics are used to make handkerchiefs such as silk, linen, cotton, synthetic fabrics, etc.
UsageTissue papers are used For personal hygiene and to take care of facial skin. Handkerchiefs are mainly used for cleaning the nose, wiping hands and face, and personal hygiene stuff.
TypesTissue papers are available in many types in the market such as facial tissues, napkins, toilet paper, etc. The types of handkerchief are different at different places such as a hanky, Rumal, Chamba Rumal, etc.
WashableA tissue paper can not be washed since it is made of very thin paper.A handkerchief can be washed multiple times depending on the fabric it is made of.

What is Tissue?

Tissue papers or napkins are considered to be lightweight paper that is also known as crêpe paper used for personal hygiene. Tissue papers can be made from recycled paper as well.

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Tissue papers are mostly used commercially and also for domestic purposes. A tissue paper contained several properties such as lightweight, absorbency, thinness, volume, appearance, etc.

There are huge factories established across the nation with several huge paper machines installed in them. A drying cylinder known as a Yankee dryer is combined in these machines that are steamed heated and the raw material called paper pulp is used to make tissues.

Adhesives are spayed all over the Yankee cylinder and these adhesives are then result in paper sticks.

Another equipment installed in the Yankee cylinder, the doctor blade, is used to scrape the dry paper off the cylinder.

The shape and structure of tissue papers completely depend on the adhesive being used, the doctor blade’s geometry, and the speed of the machine.

Talking about absorbing applications, these are added to the paper in a process known as TAD (through air drying). Tissue papers are known to have the highest amount of Northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK).

The commonly used types of tissue papers are facial tissues, hygienic tissue papers, toilet papers, paper towels, wrapping tissue, etc.


What is Handkerchief?

A handkerchief is square-shaped small clothes that can be kept even in the pocket of a shirt. It is made of woven material and various types of fabrics.

It is a small version of kerchief that is used for personal hygiene. A handkerchief was historically known as a handkercher while some people use the word hankie to denote Handkerchief.

Handkerchiefs are carried around in pockets and handbags and used to blow the nose, wiping wet hands and face. But handkerchief has more than one level, apart from hygiene, they are also used as an elegant accessory to decorate the pocket in the suit.

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In the famous folk dance of the Middle East and Greece, handkerchiefs are used by dancers to make several movements. The most tremendous form of dance using Handkerchief is known as Kalamatianós and it is associated with Greece.

Hence, Handkerchiefs are related to the culture of each country in some way.

The handkerchief also plays a salient part to determine the social position of a person which is judged by what type of Handkerchief is being used by that person because some of the materials are quite expensive.

In ancient Europe, women used to wave their white Handkerchiefs to show their approval at public events.


Main Differences Between Tissue and Handkerchief

  1. When it comes to utilization, tissue paper can not be used more than once. On the other hand, a single handkerchief is used hundreds of times.
  2. Tissue papers are purchased in bulk and they are not very expensive. On the other hand, a handkerchief can be cheaper to very expensive depending on the material.
  3. Tissue papers were invented in 1890 and a company later brought some changes in 1935 while Handkerchief is considered to have originated in the 14th century.
  4. The production of tissues is completely based on pulp or wooden paper. On the other hand, a Handkerchief is made of different types of fabrics.
  5. Tissue papers are not washed after using them because they easily get damaged and recycled or thrown out while a person can wash a handkerchief as much as he wants.
Difference Between Tissue and Handkerchief
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.201700992
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2871376

Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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