Tag: parties

Homage to Bunting!

We’ve recently had lots of enquiries from lovely people wanting to hire out our gorgeous handmade bunting for parties and weddings so we thought we’d get it all out and check it over in case any of it was in need of some TLC – and having hundreds of metres all over the floor, furniture and tables got us wondering about the origins of bunting and how it got the name so we did a bit of research to enlighten ourselves on a dark and rainy November Sunday afternoon! And believe us – when you get hundreds of metres all tangled up you really do need something to distract you! So here’s our little homage to bunting!

We use the term “bunting” these days to refer to any festive decorations made of fabric (or even paper and plastic) cut into triangles and strung together – although you can get all sorts of shapes and sizes now. The term was also used historically to refer to a collection of flags, particularly naval ones. The officer responsible for raising signals using flags was known as a “bunt” and it’s still the name used to refer to a ship’s communications officer.

The initial meaning of the flag-colored “bunting,” when it first appeared in print in the mid-18th century, was “light cotton or woollen cloth used to make flags and banners.” This kind of cloth was of a very open weave, and apparently called “bunting” because it was similar to loosely-woven cloth used to sift grain or meal. The action of sifting grain had been known as “bunting” since the 14th century, and a contraption for sifting meal and grain had been known as a “bunt,” which may have simply been a form of the older word “bolt” (from the Old French “bulter”) for the same kind of sifting process. So the cloth routinely used to make flags was called “bunting” because it was similar to the cloth used to sift grain and meal.

And when the same cloth was used for decorative, flag-themed draperies or streamers, it made sense to call those “bunting.”!

Many thanks to the guys at The Word Detective for that!


Aren’t words truly fascinating! And so to untangling our bunting……

Published by annie, on 5th November 2012 at 9:09 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Arts,Vintage Events,Vintage Homeware,Vintage Local History,Weddings Tags: , , , , Comments Off on Homage to Bunting!

Bunting and Bluebells!

bunting strung from a wicker basket in a woodland full of bluebells

Vintage Dorset's hand-made bunting and bluebells at Bulbarrow

There’s something quintessentially English about bunting. We took our purple and blue bunting and a picnic up to Bulbarrow whilst all of the bluebells were out for some great bunting and bluebell photos. Steve is a travel and landscape photographer and he captured the spring light just perfectly! For more of Steve’s work visit Steve Atkins Photography.

Bunting (or bunt) was originally a lightweight worsted wool fabric or tammy. These worsted “tammies” were made in Norfolk from around 1594 and were used for making ribbons and flags including signal flags for the Royal Navy. In white and more recently in colours, they have gradually evolved to become a signal of celebration perfect for parties, weddings and celebrations.

Bunting in the post-war era was generally single thickness and sewn from old shirts and scraps of fabrics whilst in recent years its often seen in rather nasty plastic (made in China) or bought from Tesco. We don’t do this kind!

Vintage Dorset bunting for hireOur bunting for hire is all hand-made cotton print or cotton and satin-ribboned, double-thickness so it always looks fabulous and holds its shape perfectly with long end ties (which are essential for tying it up and usually far too short!) We have over 300 metres of it  in vintage and retro colours. It generally comes in 5 metre lengths (just over 16 feet). Bunting is for hire from Vintage Dorset for just £3 per garland (60p per metre) – this is cheaper than it costs to make from scrap fabric!

How much bunting to I need for our marquee?

People generally underestimate how much they need! We find that 20 metres (4 garlands) of bunting will dress a room or small hall quite nicely allowing swags between fastenings – but you need at least 50-80 metres (10 -16 garlands) for a marquee with an extra 10- 20 metres if you want to dress the entrance.   If you want some sumptuous vintage bunting then do ask us for a quote. We can post it to you within the UK and you just send it back after your party

Vintage Bunting for Hire

retro styled bunting

Retro bunting for 1950'2 to 1970's

Published by vdorset, on 24th May 2011 at 1:48 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Arts,Vintage Fashion,Vintage Homeware Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Bunting and Bluebells!