In the world of everyday carry (EDC) gear, the humble handkerchief has evolved into an indispensable tool for any EDC enthusiast. Once seen as merely a decorative pocket square, the EDC hank serves a variety of critical functions beyond just wiping one's nose. Constructed from tough, durable fabrics, the EDC hank is built to handle the rigors of everyday use. For EDC adherents, it is a necessity, not an accessory.
EDC hanks are constructed from tightly woven blends of cotton, polyester, and linen that can withstand substantial abuse. Cotton offers softness and breathability. Polyester contributes durability and structure. Linen adds strength and a handsome visual texture. Premium EDC hanks may incorporate silk for an opulent lustrous sheen. The interwoven fibers create a dense, resilient fabric perfect for EDC use.
Many EDC hank brands tout proprietary fabric blends with names like "Ripstop" and "Ironclad." These represent the pinnacle of EDC hank materials, engineered for the utmost longevity and resilience. When woven optimally, the interlaced strands form a fabric armor as strong as the name suggests.
The typical EDC hank ranges from 9 to 12 inches square, making it highly portable and pocketable. This compact size allows the hank to fit comfortably in a jeans pocket, jacket pocket, backpack, or EDC kit without monopolizing space. For EDC purposes, oversized hanks become cumbersome to carry. Savvy EDC brands design their hanks around the average pocket dimension for effortless portability.
Despite the compact size, a properly constructed EDC hank contains a surprising amount of fabric area. A 12-inch square hank provides 144 square inches of usable material. The high ratio of surface area to size gives the EDC hank its vaunted utility.
For EDC devotees, a hank's usability goes far beyond the conventional purposes of a handkerchief. The EDC hank's durable fabric can scrub gears, wipe spills, apply first aid, contain small parts, shield touchscreens, mask the face, flag down help, and much more. The hank essentially serves as a multi-tool EDC backup for when specialized gear is not on hand.
Top-tier EDC hank brands design their products specifically for hardcore everyday carry use. The hanks come prewashed for immediate use and ship with care instructions befitting their premium construction.
Hanks tailored for EDC service come from a handful of EDC-centric brands. Leaders in the EDC hank space include:
Hankmade - startup founded by EDC enthusiasts making waves with ultra-durable Ripstop hanks
Urban Carvers - known for hanks cut from custom sustainable hemp/organic cotton canvas
Ditch Composites - utilizes proprietary Ironweave fabric claimed to be 5x stronger than typical hank material
Southwest Sustainables - veteran EDC brand focused on natural linen/cotton hanks finished in the American Southwest
Fitzgerald Handkerchiefs - fabricates classy hanks from print-patterned silk in the US
Mighty Hanks - produces artisanal, handmade EDC hanks from proprietary durable fabrics
Their common thread is a focus on quality, durability, and utility for the rigors of EDC use. These brands design hanks specifically for dependable everyday carry, not merely for pocket squares or handkerchiefs.
For more budget-friendly options, EDC devotees can look to commercial bandanas and shemagh scarves. These neckerchief-style fabrics can substitute for a dedicated EDC hank in a pinch. However, their thinner fabrics cannot match the resilience of custom EDC hanks from high-end providers.
Far exceeding the role of a basic handkerchief, the EDC hank's blend of portability and durability makes it a versatile necessity for any prepared EDC enthusiast. When crafted from resilient Ripstop or Ironweave fabric by a quality EDC brand, the humble hank transforms into a rugged, reliable tool ready to serve a plethora of functions for dealing with everyday unpredictability. For EDC adherents, it is now an essential gear item, not just an accessory.