Sew Sommerset June 2017

Sew Sommerset-1

Featured in Sew Sommerset 2017

Embroidered and artistic pillows have always caught my
attention as luxury items used to decorate the home.
The display of these decorative pillows on window seats,
chairs, and sofas indicate that the owner has a sophisticated
and aesthetic value. This peaks the interest of the visitor and
often becomes the start of an interesting conversation.

Lavish pillows were known to have existed in ancient Egypt
and China because the human head was considered sacred
and needed to be cherished. In medieval Japan, noblewomen
and geishas had “tall pillows” to protect their elaborate
hairstyles. Medieval European (the late Tudor period)
pillows were embroidered by young women who practiced
their needlework skills. Their decorative stitches were part
of their preparation for future roles as mistresses of large
households and as helpers to the noblewoman of the court.
This high praise was seen as an indicator of their piety and
diligence.

Having decorative pillows during this time was considered
a fashion statement. These fancy pillows were not only used
to rest parts of the body but also to give comfort while
kneeling. Bibles rested on embellished pillows as a symbol
of respect and protection. Gifts to nobility were placed on
pillows as a gesture of purity and often bore unusual items,
such as portraits of the receiver and messages embedded in
the pockets. ➻


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