This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony.Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used.
Charles Francis Badini created the Original Fanology or Ladies' Conversation Fan which was published by William Cock in London in 1797.
Some people flirt simply for amusement, with no intention of developing any further relationship.
For others, flirting serves a purpose and is employed as a tool to achieve a specific (professional) goal (good salespeople will recognise situations where flirting will help a sale).
In Spain, where the use of fans (called "abanicos") is still very popular today, ladies used them to communicate with suitors or prospective suitors without attracting the notice of their families or chaperons.
This use was highly popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Flirting can indicate an interest in a deeper personal relationship with another person.