Saturday, April 5, 2008


15 comentarios

This post is for a little self promotion AAAND some history + culture of the handfan. But I think you are going to like it.

I have always loved the look of handfans: either through history, when the court ladies used them to seduce men or conspire; or nowadays, when the summer gets too warm and we just need something to not die in the sun!

Of course, there are many kinds of handfans, but I really don't know what's it's origin, who invented it or in what country was introduced.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think nowadays the most famous different kinds of handfans are the japanese ones and the spanish ones.

In Spain, the handfan is a strong point of our culture. It is in our tradition, and most women have at least one, mostly used to fight the hot temperatures in summer, but also very famous in the popular dances of south Spain.

In the times when all the ladies used a handfan, it was used to send messages (usually secret love messages!). There were no cell phones! The position of the face, handfan, hand, etc would indicate the message.
Here are a few:
  • Close the handfun under your right eye = "When may I see you?"
  • Cover the left ear with the open handfan = "Don't tell our secret"
  • Fully open the handfan = "Wait for me"
  • Handfun on the back of the head = "Don't forget me"
  • Turn the handfan with the left hand = "Somebody is watching us"
  • Turn the handfan with the right hand = "I love somebody else"
  • Move the handfan between the hands = "I hate you"
  • Move the handfan around the cheek = "I love you"
  • To fan (use the fan) very fast = "I'm madly in love with you"
  • To fan very slowly or open and close very slowly = "I'm a married woman, don't try anything"

And the list goes on and on forever! I'll write some more next day =)

So a couple weeks ago I sent a couple of my silks to some people thatmake handfands with different fabrics. After seeing a few silk handfans in some high end fashion stores, I decided I could as well make them with my designs.

Today I got a package in the mail, the handfans are finished!! I got 6 as examples of different sizes, woods. Take a look at some of them:

Now you have an excuse to feel like a lady of the XVIII century! =) Seduce your man with one of this handfans. Soon I will have some in my etsy store. For now, just tell me if you like them or not, please. Is this your style? Would you use one in the hot summer? Handfans are very used as decoration too!

Please let me know your opinion, ideas, etc. And if you want to read more handfan secret messages!! :)

Oh, and seems Klimt liked handfans too! ;)

What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories

15 comentarios: to “ Handfans!

  • April 5, 2008 at 4:39 PM  

    I didn't know about the hand fan secret messages- how awesome is that! I love hand fans, I have a (very small) collection. The ones you've made aren't really "my colors" but I hope to see some more from you in the future!

  • April 5, 2008 at 5:06 PM  

    lovely...they would even make pretty decorations to hang on a wall or display!


  • April 5, 2008 at 8:12 PM  

    What a great idea, Gilbea! I hope for a long hot summer! :)

  • April 5, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

    Beautiful! I loved reading about the secret messages of handfans, too!

  • April 5, 2008 at 9:46 PM  

    Your fans are gorgeous! Please keep making them.

  • April 5, 2008 at 10:29 PM  

    Fans say more than words...
    Your style is very pretty.

  • April 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM  

    I love those ! They will be a hit for sure :)

  • April 6, 2008 at 12:03 PM  

    Wow! They are wonderful! Yes indeed, I can see me using one of those ..

  • April 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM  

    these are fabulous Gilbea - I think they will be very popular!

  • April 6, 2008 at 12:26 PM  

    Love your blogpost, great job!
    Your fans are very pretty, really your style! I would make different kind of colors to give options to your customers :)

  • April 6, 2008 at 12:47 PM  

    Woww! Beautiful handfan! Love to read the messages :)
    The Balinese have also handfans. There are two kinds of them (maybe more, but I know these two ;)): one made of fabric with wooden ends and the other one are made completely out of wood with very filigrane hole patterns on it. The best one is made of cedar - oh, I love the smell so much! I don't know, either they also have messages with the fan. They use the fabric one for dancing, so I think it has.

  • April 7, 2008 at 3:08 AM  

    I love hand fans! I go for the Japanese types. My Mom has a Spanish fan. Great for the summer!

  • April 7, 2008 at 5:15 AM  

    Oh those are cool. I love watching the Mikado and the dancing with fans....

  • April 7, 2008 at 5:00 PM  

    These are beautiful! I love hearing about the secret language, but you have to admit, that could leave you open for all sorts of miscommunications! LOL! Make a wrong move with your fan, and you've declared your undying love for someone!

  • April 13, 2008 at 8:55 PM  

    Who would of thought that something so small and beautiful can be used to control a man.