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Glossary of cushion related phrases

You'll often read different terms when talking about cushions. This is not a comprehensive list, but will include many of the terms used for decorative cushions.

Bolster cushion - If you see a long, cylindrical cushion, which resembles a large filled soft tube, you are probably looking at a bolster cushion. The name comes from Germany and literally means a stuffed long cylindrical throw. These types of pillows provide excellent neck support and were often used by the wealthy in ancient Egypt, protecting the most sacred part of the body. It also makes a great armrest on the sofa and can add a splash of colour and geometric interest to the décor.

Boudoir cushion - Boudoir cushions add geometric variety. These smaller cushions are rectangular, being longer than they are wide. Aptly named for use on the bed, but can also add interest on a couch or chair, particularly when grouped with other cushions.

Boxed cushions - These cushions have an additional piece all the way around to give it elevation. It doesn't have to be in the shape of a box, it can be round, but it always has to have a top, bottom and sides.

Circular cushion - These types of round shaped cushions can be boxed or knife edged.

Decorative cushions - Again, these cushions are another name for simply cushions, but use the term decorative to separate it from the cushions of a couch or those created as the seat of a chair. Decorative cushions add interest to a room. You can use this style of cushion to change a colour scheme or create a new accent colour. Because of their low cost, it's one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to do this. These cushions also provide additional support for the neck and back. They can also add a soft touch when used with primarily wood and leather furniture.

Embellished cushion - These have decorative touches. Often the embellishment is a matching button in the centre with the material gathered around it. Sequins, imitation jewels and beads are also used to embellish cushions.

Knife edged - Knife edged cushions are two pieces of fabric stitched together and stuffed. Some may have a button in the centre to maintain a specific shape.

Piped or corded edges - This type of pillow has cording around the seams as both a decorative addition and to add strength to seams. The piping/cording can be contrasting in colour or a solid colour against a pattered cushion.

Throw cushions - Throw cushions is another term for cushions used to accent the sofa or bed. These decorative cushions add style and interest when used to decorate armchairs, too. These are the perfect accent piece to change a daybed into an aesthetic piece of furniture.

You may hear or see other terms for different styles and designs of cushions, but these are the ones generally used.

 
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