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Almost Everything about Throw Pillows

Updated on September 15, 2016
beverley byer profile image

Beverley Byer has been writing professionally for a number of years. Her work has been published in magazines and newspapers.

History of Pillows Including Throws

The original use of pillows was to support the head and neck. Evidence of this was unearthed from tombs of Egypt’s Pharaohs. They were made of crude, harsh materials such as wood, stone, and metal, and were most likely uncomfortable, at least to the living. Pillows were also discovered in Early China, but the chiseled jade, porcelain, or wood were more art forms. When pillow-making reached Europe, softer fabrics and embroidery were used, and they were marketed to the rich and royal. As time marched on into the 20th century, the ability to mass-produce pillows developed. With this new type of production, advanced sewing techniques/needlework, and the desire for new home comforts, pillows were being sought for more than support hence the creation of throw (accent) pillows.

Square throw or accent pillow
Square throw or accent pillow | Source
Rectangular throw or accent pillow
Rectangular throw or accent pillow | Source

Variations of Throw (Accent) Pillows

Today’s throw pillows are made from cotton, canvas, microfiber, leather, suede, linen, and other fabrics, and are filled with materials such as various foams, fibers, feathers, sponge, cotton, resins, hemp, buckwheat, and recycled matter. They are hand-sewn, knitted, quilted, crocheted, factory-sewn, and embellished with fancy lace, ribbon, fringe, tassels, buttons, sequins, and other trimmings.

They also come in unlimited supplies of shapes, colors, patterns, designs, and sizes. You can find throw pillows shaped like animals, fruits, round, oblong, rectangular, long, or the more popular square. Find every color of the rainbow and then some. Find throw pillows with photography, abstract art, classical art, simple floral patterns, slogans, and poetry. There are standard 18-inch pillows, oversized pillows, and smaller-sized ones. Whatever the style or décor of the rooms in your home, there is an accent pillow for you. Whatever the occasion you might be celebrating: birthday, retirement, anniversary, there is an accent pillow for you. If you have health issues such as dust allergies, there is an accent pillow for you.

Throw pillows are also known by as many names as there are types: toss pillows, accent pillows, decorative pillows, designer pillows, bed accent pillows, couch pillows, chair pillows, among others.

Decorating with Throw (Accent) Pillows

Throw pillows are usually purchased as separate items to enhance a room or piece of furniture. Professional home decorators, interior decorators, and stylists advise that it is better mix and match patterns, colors, shapes, and sizes to give your room, floor, bed, sofa, couch or loveseat ultimate visual appeal. They also suggest you purchase throw pillows to accent your décor, taking into consideration the type of furniture, accessories or color of your walls. You can even purchase pillows to match your moods. A word of caution: Be careful of over-styling. You want your pillows to reflect your taste and complement the space without cluttering.

Where to Purchase Throw (Accent) Pillows

Throw pillows can be purchased on or offline from high-end stores, specialty stores, furniture stores or department stores. You can even have them custom-made. It really depends on your budget.

Cost of Throw (Accent) Pillows

Obviously, if they are being custom-made or made with fine fabrics and embellishments, throw pillows will be more expensive. If you purchase them from a specialty store you may also incur expense. Department stores, especially stores like Target will sell cheaper throw pillows. But choosing the right ones can still accent your home nicely and give it your desired visual appeal.


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