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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.
The origin of the word is uncertain.
Today, "bunting" is a term for 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 colours of national flags gathered and draped into swags or pleated into fan shapes.
The term bunting is also used to refer to a collection of flags, and particularly those of a ship. The officer responsible for raising signals using flags is known as "bunts", a term still used for a ship's communications officer.
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