The pillow has a long history that extends back to the Mesopotamian city state era (7ooo BCE) but it was the Egyptians that put pillows on the map so to speak. They considered the head to be sacred and pillows were lavished with decorations fitting the job of holding this important body part. Pillows were also a status symbol in Ancient Egypt.
As sophisticated dyes and sewing techniques came into use pillow design became an art form and they were prized commodities first in China and Persia and later in Medieval Europe. With the industrial revolution and the mass production of materials, pillows became more accessible to the average person.
Pillows are not always those soft, fluffy things that the word might conjure up for us. Traditional Chinese pillows are often hard boxes made of stone, wood or metal because it was believed that soft pillows robbed one's body of energy and vitality. In medieval Japan, noblewomen had elaborate hairdos that required customized pillows. To protect the fancy hairdos pillows were constructed of wood that cushioned the back of the neck and let the hair hang free. Not orthopedic consults in those days! Until the 18th century it was believed that sleeping was best accomplished sitting up so bolsters and pillows were a necessity for good health.
We are familiar with feathers, fiberfill or foam but there's more variety out there. Traditional fillings were straw, feathers or down. In Asia buckwheat is a common filling and the pillows are smaller, while in India cotton is used . Then there are pillows that are filled with lavender, herbs etc. that are touted to improve your well being.
Some people like their pillows on the funny side. Check these out.
Then there are pillows from different countries and antique pillows too rich for my pocketbook or any practical use.
I love textiles and decorative pillows are akin to an art form in my house . My walls and furniture are usually neutral, unassuming colours so I express my wild side with pillows.
modern, geometric in satin
psychedelic and mesmerizing
crochet raffia with dainty buttons, graphic linen
crewel work with circles
satin, linen and shag, spring yellow and green, my latest treats
cut velvet and plaid satin in my favourite colour
They lift me up, inspire the use of texture in my art work, support my back, provide a topic for conversation, add a little luxury...
Are there pillows in your life?