Step aside Billy the Kid, the Wild West just got a tad bit tamer with Hand Over Fist’s smart, hand-screened bandanas. Each bandana, decorated with the lower half of an animal’s face, gives the impression that its wearer is hiding a sinister smirk behind the folded cotton square. But Marissa Corwin’s gentle illustrations, which call to mind the work contained in Maurice Sendak’sThe Nutshell Library‘, never venture into scary territory.


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I met Marissa at the Brooklyn Flea’s Gifted holiday market where her playful kerchiefs, with their various reversible images, caught my eye. I later chatted with Marissa and realized that because each piece is handmade, there is very little production waste created. Marissa also explained that she chose to use water-based inks in her screening process, as they “are better ecologically than the plastisol inks commonly used for printing shirts.” With a nagging interest in children’s toys that encourage open-ended play, Marissa revisited her line of screen-printed linen kitchen towels. “Printing on a square instead of a rectangle wasn’t a far leap,” she jests. “I suppose the real leap was deciding to print animal faces on them, the idea for which honestly just came while I was day dreaming on the subway one morning.”

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Recently made popular, again, by hip urban cowboys in order to inhibit the inhalation of exhaust fumes as they pedal their iron horses through the city streets, bandanas never seem to fully fall out of fashion. Marissa promises an eco-upgrade for her next batch of bandanas. “I am developing two new bandana designs that I hope to be selling by February, and will work on improving their econess,” she says. She plans to do this by using, “eco-printing inks and organic cotton, for those print runs.” But for now you can rest assured that with the amount of care put into each handmade hanky, your little bandito is getting nothing but the best.

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Printed in limited quantities and now available in her recently stocked Etsy shop ($7 including shipping), Marissa’s Hand Over Fist bandanas might just inspire a ‘cute-out’ at the OK Corral.

+Hand Over Fist
* orginal photos by Jason Curtis, jason.curtis[at]gmail.com