My relationship with bunting started at Glastonbury. It was my eighth Glastonbury and my first time performing there. As I waited in the wigwam provided backstage I glanced up to see homemade bunting above me. Was it a religious moment? Quite possibly.
‘I’m taking this as a memento,’ I said to ASH SOANE, my drummer, and quick as a flash I reached up, pulled it down and to this day it lives in my garden. Like all good thieves I acted purely on selfish instinct, not stopping to think about the consequences of my actions. THE WURZELS, the band that followed me, sadly missed out on the colourful hanging delights.
Cut to today and I find myself making laminated Christmas bunting for myself and my ‘odds and sods’ website myvintagejourney. It started with an old gentleman’s road map from the 1950s that I found in a great vintage shop in Oxford called UNICORN. I have shopped there since I was 16 and the eccentric Austrian woman who runs it still remembers the first item I bought. (Incidentally, if you are hoping for a friends and family discount you will be disappointed. Believe me I have tried.) My design was to take out the old pages and turn the stylish leather exterior of the map into the façade for a day-to-day writing pad. Then inspiration struck to use the old road atlas as bunting. I then purchased a laminator and the rest is history. As I looked up the history of bunting – what else does one do in front of the football on a Friday evening? – I found this online:
Bunting (or bunt) was originally a specific type of lightweight worsted wool fabric generically known as tammy, manufactured from the turn of the 17th century, and used for making ribbons and flags, 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.
Note particularly the last bit – the desire for a HIGH GLAZE??? I have unknowingly chanced upon the original style of making bunting… for yuletide. Old papers, magazines, wrapping paper, postcards, you name it, it can be laminated and hung up. The beauty of individual bunting is it brings whatever character you want to your house. You want dirty? Buy old erotic magazine. Classy? Get some copies of The Field. It brings an immediate sense of joviality and celebration and that is what Christmas should be.
This year my theme is Japanese. The hunt is on. Whatever I can lay my hands on will be bound to be glazed and hot pressed.
Great tidings to you all!