Bunting (textile)

An example of bunting in Wilmette, Illinois
Bunting in the form of triangular flags in the West Midlands, United Kingdom
4th of July decorations in Roche Harbor include Canadian and U.S. flags and red, white and blue bunting.

Bunting (or bunt) is any festive decorations made of fabric, or of plastic, paper or even cardboard in imitation of fabric. Typical forms of bunting are strings of colorful triangular flags and lengths of fabric in the colors of national flags gathered and draped into swags or pleated into fan shapes.


Bunting was originally a specific type of lightweight worsted wool fabric generically known as tammy,[1] manufactured from the turn of the 17th century,[2] and used for making ribbons[3] and flags,[4] including signal flags for the Royal Navy. Amongst other properties that made the fabric suitable for ribbons and flags was its high glaze, achieved by a process including hot-pressing.[5]

NSE Eridge-Edenbridge celebrations (1988) with Red, White and Blue commemorating the Hundred Years of the Line.

The origin of the word is uncertain.[6] But bunt means colourful in German.

The term bunting is also used to refer to a collection of flags, and particularly those of a ship.[7] The officer responsible for raising signals using flags is known as bunts, a term still used for a ship's communications officer.

See also

  • Papel picado


  1. ^ "The gradual change of spelling undergone by this name from 'estamet' to 'tammy' had by that date proceeded as far as 'tamett'. By 1633 it had become 'tammet'" (Kerridge 1988, p. 53).
  2. ^ "Worsted tammies, white and coloured, broad and narrow, were made in Norwich and East Norfolk, seemingly from about 1594, certainly from 1605" (Kerridge 1988, p. 53).
  3. ^ Scargill 1965, p. 101–110.
  4. ^ "One special form of tammy, called bunt or bunting, was sold for making flags" (Kerridge 1988, p. 53).
  5. ^ "They were also highly glazed by hot-pressing and other means." (Kerridge 1988, p. 53).
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary on CD-ROM, Oxford University Press, 2002.
  7. ^ One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bunting". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 802.


  • Kerridge, Eric (1988). Textile manufactures in early modern England. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-1767-4.
  • Scargill, D.I. (1965). Wakefield: A Study of Arrested Urban Development. 36. The Town Planning Review. pp. 101–110.

External links

  • Media related to Bunting at Wikimedia Commons

Media files used on this page

Jute nahtlos.png
Author/Creator: SoylentGreen, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hessian Fabric made seamless. It will serve to create a normal map in Blender.
Batik Indonesia.jpg
Author/Creator: MartijnL, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0 nl
Batik cloth purchased in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
MacLachlan hunting tartan (D. W. Stewart).svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
A representation of the Maclachlan hunting tartan. This tartan is the oldest tartan to bear the name MacLachlan. This tartan is referred to as the Old MacLachlan, MacLachlan, and Hunting MacLachlan. This sett was first published in Old & Rare Scottish Tartans by D. W. Stewart in 1893.
Thread count: Y6, W4, Bk32, G32, Y6, W4, R48.
Sources: MacLachlan Clan Tartan WR1710 MacLachlan Hunting Tartan
June 19th "Bunting".jpg
Author/Creator: Amanda Slater, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Bunting of triangular flags hung in Coventry, England. Photographer's caption: "The bunting is out in the village again...it must be summer."
NSE Eridge-Edenbridge celebrations (1988) 14.JPG
Author/Creator: Lamberhurst, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
On 1st October 1988, Network SouthEast organised the 100th Birthday celebrations of the Edenbridge - Eridge line.

Class 33 and Class 73 73131 "County of Surrey" on display at

Eridge railway station.
2004 - 4th of July - Roche Harbor 019.jpg
Author/Creator: nate ritter, Licence: CC BY 2.0
4th of July decorations at Roche Harbor, 2004, include flags of the United States and Canada, and red, white and blue bunting.
Author/Creator: Msasso139, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
A prime example of bunting in Wilmette, Illinois.