With the long weekend coming up, many New Zealanders will be hitting the roads exploring other regions.  For those of us who simply adore “stuff”, the holiday weekend provides a great opportunity to pick up items from our travels.  This got me thinking about the classic fabric souvenirs from tourist patches to pennants. 

What actually happened to them once they had been handed over to an excited kid?  Were they sewn onto blankets, bed linen or clothes?  Perhaps they were used to cover up worn areas of clothing, making them drab to fab?


South Island on fabric

The above sheet was purchased from a Wellington op shop.  I was intrigued by the various South Island destinations from the West Coast, Bluff to the now poignant image of the Christchurch Cathedral. Was this the result of a major tiki tour or perhaps years of intermittent trips around the South Island?

Close up of South Island examples

Pennants from my childhood trips are from the North Island with the glamorous destinations of Auckland Zoo, Waiouru Army Museum and Lower Hutt all represented.

North Island pennants jostling for space

Other patches from the Treaty of Waitangi House in the Bay of Islands, Hamilton and Taupo complete the collection which was later sewn onto a Girl Guides blanket.  I struggle to remember anything from these trips, so it’s wonderful to have these fabric reminders.

Fabric representations of the National War Memorial

I particularly like the above Wellington pennant as it features the National War Memorial. It is displayed next to an embroidery of the National War Memorial and the former Dominion Museum/National Art Gallery.

A range of New Zealand military pennants

Extending the military theme is a collection of pennants representing New Zealand bases and camps. Most of them are Army but you can find examples of all three services at antique shops.
Do you have any examples of fabric patches or pennants?  If so, how were they used or displayed?
Happy holidays and happy hunting!