Folksy Ltd

Just got asked what is bunting what is it used for


(Eileens Craft Studio) #1

via an American knitting forum I just got asked this question.

I thought everyone knew what bunting was and its function but I then realized it’s a very British concept.

It was used in the 1600’s by our navy the ‘Bunter’ would be responsible for making strings of smaller flags to run up when the ship needed to send a message to another ship of the line. We know all flags in in the navy have a different meaning.

It was then used as a way of decorating outside functions such as National Events and went from there.

I’m surprised to be asked the question as most countries now use bunting of some kind/design.


(Margaret Jackson) #2

I’m not too surprised, I’ve never seeing it used apart from National Events. I wouldn’t have any use for bunting personally, but maybe some people use it for birthdays? What kinds of events do people use bunting for?


(Sasha Garrett) #3

I use my bunting when I do the local open studio scheme as it makes it more obvious where people should be going. I also string it up around my gazebo at outdoor craft events to make it look prettier.


(Peonyandthistle) #4

We sell LOADS of bunting (not so much on Folksy but in our other shops…). People seem to call them garlands, banners, pennants in the US. Our customers use them for all sorts of occasions especially weddings, parties, baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, graduations or to add a lovely touch to their home! Ooh and someone has just bought a couple of very large buntings to decorate their shop!

I have just spent the whole day making today’s bunting orders so I can vouch for the fact that they are really popular, even if they call them something different in the US…


(Eileens Craft Studio) #5

I’ve seen it used for fairs on stands at car shows, along sea fronts, and pier, village fetes, hanging across roads in towns at events strung from lamp post to lamp post or building to building, at garden parties, small out door plays, decorating halls holding parties all sorts of places and events.

I saw miles and miles of it along the Rhine in Germany for the Rhine in Flames Event.


(Eileens Craft Studio) #6

I’ve seen that but they are all the wrong name.

Garland is something that forms a circle bunting has ends to tie to another thing.

Banner is a one piece item a flag that requires two poles to carry it when it’s carried.

Pennants are what make up bunting they are the individual bits that hang down pennant or flags.


(Plumporridge) #7

I have sold lots of bunting in the past, not so much recently. I wonder if it would be useful to use the word pennants in listings as well then, if that’s a more common term in the USA.


(Eileens Craft Studio) #8

Thing is to most Americans a pennant is a one item thing a small flag like item that is hung on the wall given as a prize normally for a sporting achievement.
They also depict your Football, basket ball, or baseball team or education establishment.


(Jo Sara) #9

Got to love the Americans and their tweaks on the language. I’ve got to remember to put yard on all my garden stuff. Seems like bunting is a ‘pennant garland’ in America going on the 3000+ listings on the other side under those keywords, suppose it makes sense if you think about it though :smile:


(Sian ) #10

Interestingly, “bunting” is consistently one of the top 10 referral terms to Folksy from Google, according to Google Analytics. I wonder how many of those are people who are wondering what on Earth it is?

“Pennant garland” doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it? Definitely try to squeeze those extra words into your bunting descriptions though!


(Eileens Craft Studio) #11

I just asked my American friend what she called it and she said oh that’s bunting I adore bunting it’s so English.

She made me laugh mind you she’s been in the UK for the past 5 years.


(Sara Leigh Thornton) #12

I remember seeing bunting used as decorations for village fairs, fetes etc back in the 70s. Then it went out of fashion for a while, and I know when I used some hanging from the flies in a pantomime when we were doing a fair scene lots of the youngsters loved it but had never seen it used before - that was mid 90s. In the past decade it really seems to have come back into fashion, particularly for interior design.

I used to make and sell quite a lot of it, but I have to admit that sewing triangles and then attaching them to a length of tape over and over again started driving me a bit mad :stuck_out_tongue:


(Oh Button Me) #13

We have a ‘happy birthday’ bunting that I made a few years ago. And of course each birthday it gets hung up.


(Amberlilly) #14

Bunting is great, especially when its used outside, but yes, over the pond its garland or banner, bit annoying when you have to keep adjusting your titles for it though!


(Leslie Morton) #15

Gee, I am surprised that the American person you spoke with didn’t know that term.

“Bunting”, in my experience is very common in both US and Canada - it is used during celebrations (particularly 1st and 4th July for both Canada and US - Canada Day & Independence Day) and there are almost 50,000 listings for that word, mostly from US & Canadian sellers on Etsy,

My office used to have an annual picnic each summer and whomever was in charge of the decorations would be up at 4 in the morning decorating the venue with both bunting and balloons - it was always so very festive and I have great memories of those occasions.

As Sian says, it has been trending everywhere - I wonder if I could mosaic some flags and chain them together? I can see many problems with that!


(Eileens Craft Studio) #16

That’s what I thought Leslie @ManiacalMosaics That’s why it came as a bit of a surprise.


(Plumporridge) #17

I agree, it’s a bit boring to make after a while. But satisfying once it’s done!


(Peonyandthistle) #18

I agree but using those terms in my listings on the ‘other’ site seems to help customers find them which is what is important to me!!!