Pillows are Stu-Pendous!

Once again, in honor of our Handwoven for the Home 2014 Design Challenge (which is still accepting entries for another week), this BeWeave It features the history of a favorite household textile: the pillow. Throughout history, pillows have made sleeping and lounging more comfortable. The earliest pillows were made of stone and wood; in fact, the Japanese used these hard, carved pillows for centuries as it was believed that soft pillows stole energy from the body. They were especially popular with geishas who would use the carved pillows to prop up their necks so they could sleep without messing up their elaborate hairdos.

Throughout the years pillows were stuffed with everything from straw to alpaca wool to buckwheat hulls. Then, during the medieval period, the pillow fell out of favor, at least in England. Henry VIII banned pillow use by anyone but pregnant women, and it was believed that use of pillows was a sign of weakness. (We at BeWeave It are so glad this is no longer the case. We can’t imagine the chiropractor bills if we slept without our pillows each night.)

And of course, we can’t forget throw pillows. These highly decorated pillows, ar made of anything from fine silks and cottons to leather and faux suede, are used almost exclusively as decoration. Some are even covered with buttons or other hard embellishments that seem to say, “Use me as a pillow—I dare you.”

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