A kerchief is a square cloth with a narrow decorative border along all four sides. People used them on their heads or shoulders or tied them around their hips.
At the end of the 18th century embroidery designs began to develop into rigid and heavily stylised borders for towels and napkins. The colours are strong and embroiderers used greater quantities of metal thread. The designs were always inventive. The colours in some 19th century embroideries were originally very bright but they have faded to pleasing pastel shades.