Nowadays, cushions are an everyday accessory. They can be seen adorning sofas and beds in homes around the world however, cushions were not always such a soft, comfortable decoration. Today, you can buy cushions with a variety of fillings, in a variety of fabrics, really we are spoilt for choice but it didn’t always used to be that way.
In ancient Egypt cushions were not as we know them today, they were headrests rather than cushions and were typically made of stone or wood.
The ancient Greeks and Romans decided that they needed something a little more comfortable. They were the first to experiment with sizes and stuffing, creating larger cushions to lie on and smaller ones for chairs, opting for straw, feathers or reeds to fill their cushions rather than wood or stone.
In China, hard cushions were commonplace, made of bamboo, bronze, wood or ceramics and then covered with fabric to soften them. While in Japan, large cushions with soft fillings were placed on the floor and used for seating.
Before becoming an everyday accessory cushions were only for the wealthy. As fabrics and dyes were expensive, cushions were thought of as works of art; the more cushions you had the wealthier you were seen to be.
These cushions lead to large beanbags and floor cushions that became popular in large spaces, or rooms occupied by a lot of people. As cushions became cheaper and more popular, the designs became generic and unoriginal. At Yorkshire Fabric Shop we take the time to source original and unique fabrics from around the world, meaning that we have a huge variety of fabrics to suit any style. We wanted to provide our customers with unique handmade cushions to help showcase their personality. You can visit our warehouse or order free samples of our fabric using our fabric finder.