Types of Hand Fans

Types of Hand Fans by Materials

Paper Fans
An all-time favorite for special occasions, paper fans are usually cheap as they are fairly easy to make and their material can be easily sourced in a wide array of colors, so finding the one that meets both your budget and choice of color and style is quick and easy. As they are usually made of cardstock or cardboard, paper fans can very well serve your need for a cooling device up to warm summer weather, but if you think they are good for a few uses only, wait until you see our Asian paper fans, which are made from premium Japanese paper, Saa paper, or mulberry paper. They exhibit a unique paper texture, which would surely make you feel closer to nature and inspire you to keep them on a frame as an Asian souvenir or work of art.

Lace Fans
Easily considered as a treasured collection, bridal fans, as a Spanish accessory, or a gift for a special lady because of the very fine and luxurious design of their lace fabric, lace fans may be priced higher than your average hand fans because what you pay for them is basically the intricate handwork or lacework, which you may never find anywhere else. If you are looking for lace fans that will keep you cool for a special outdoor event or while you are don in your heavy bridal dress, opt for thick-laced fans with fewer open holes as they tend to give more air over the thin-laced fans that feature a lot of open holes.

Straw Hand Fans
Also known as buri fans, straw hand fans are heart-shaped fans with a weave-like surface. They are a native product of the tropical countries and handmade using the dried palm fronds of the buri. Taking cue from the hot and humid weather of the tropics, straw hand fans can be highly relied upon for a cool and gentle breeze amidst a hot summer's day. While looking delicate and bulky, straw hand fans are actually durable and handy, you can even fold them inside a roomy handbag, and they are the perfect hand fans to complete the tropical setting of your wedding or barbecue party.

Silk Hand Fans
Made a thing of luxury by the elegant sheen of natural silk or the patterns of silk brocade, silk is smart for a formal party setting. Due to the well-dyeing nature of silk, silk fans can keep their vivid color for a long time while the thickness of silk enables them to lend the same light to moderate breeze that cloth fans offer, which is enough to comfort your crowd amidst a humid atmosphere, or keep you cool when you travel under the hot summer's sun.

Wood Hand Fans
Completely made of natural wood, which essentially makes them durable, wood hand fans are the perfect choice for hand fans as an everyday accessory. Their wooden ribs are frequently styled with striking cutouts that are often complemented with a colorful hand-painting and they create a sharp, snapping sound when flipped open. Generally, wood hand fans that are thicker and larger in size are considered more efficient in giving off a refreshing breeze enough to keep you cool over the summer months. While sandalwood hand fans are highly popular among their kind as they greet you with the musky smell of sandalwood, you surely won't go wrong also picking up painted wood fans, which give-off a delicately fragrant and refreshing breeze.

Feather Fans
This type of hand fan is formed by a group of real or faux bird, ostrich, turkey, or goose feathers that are delicately matched and fixed on a wooden or plastic fan frame. While reminiscent of the earliest hand fans in Egypt, they are also popular in Chinese dances and imperial ceremonies to bring the inspiration of the phoenix, When used on special occasions, the inherently sophisticated design of feather fans make them standout as a statement piece, thus, they can let you rock a spectacular event with their exquisite avian-inspired design.

Cloth Fans or Fabric Fans
Typically made of cotton cloth fabric, cloth fans or fabric fans come in a huge assortment of colors, patterns, and prints. While you and your wedding guests can easily take plain-colored cloth fans from the party tables to their office desk, you can also shake things up a little bit with cloth fans wedding favors or party souvenirs that feature prints, which aesthetically match the season or theme of your special occasion.

The Basic Styles of Hand Fans

Folding Fans: The generic term for hand fans that fold to a slender and rectangular shape and opens to the shape of a half moon, circle, or shell. Among the popular variations of folding fans are the:

Cockade Fans: This type of folding fan opens to a complete circle and have thin, rectangular guardsticks that are usually made of metal with hollow interior that serves as the handle when the fan is opened and to where the fan's paper leaf, which is folded in accordion style, is hidden so that the hand fan folds to a compact design.

Fontage Fans: A type of folding fan that opens to the shape of a shell and with center sticks that are longer than the guardsticks.

Non-bending Fans: This type of hand fan, which includes the paddle fan, has a flat surface that is fixed to a handle.

Battery Fans: Also known as battery-operated fans, battery fans have tiny blades that are attached to a palm-sized battery compartment, and rotates when switched on and gives-off a gentle breeze.

The Main Parts of the Folding Fans

Know your hand fans like a pro with our quick rundown of the main parts of the folding fans.

Guardsticks. The first and last, or outer sticks, which are usually thicker, wider, and stronger. They serve as the main support of the folding fan, are usually designed elaborately, and are visible when the fan is closed.

Ribbing. The group of sticks that are secured in-between the guardsticks. Each rib of a folding fan consists of two parts: The sticks, which are the wider part that serve as the main skeletal framework and the ribs, or slips, which are the narrow part of the ribs to where the leaf of the paper fan, like cloth, paper, or silk, is attached.

Leaf. Considered as the main body of the folding fan, this refers to the sheet of paper, textile, or other material, that is mounted over the slips of the folding fan.

Rivet. The metal pin that secures the guardsticks and the hand fan ribbing together.